515 10th Avenue West
Palmetto, FL 34221

Office Hours

  • Tuesday - Friday 10:00 AM 12:00 PM
  • Tuesday - Friday 1:00 PM 4:00 PM
  • 1st & 3rd Saturdays 10:00 AM 12:00 PM
  • 1st & 3rd Saturdays 1:00 PM 4:00 PM

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Palmetto Historical Park

On February 20, 1982, under the leadership of Mrs. Murray (Josephine) Harrison, a group of civic-minded individuals organized to save Palmetto’s original post office building (c.1880) from demolition. As the formal organization developed, its members were appointed to the Commission by the Palmetto City Council. The Commission was incorporated under the laws of the State of Florida and acquired as a nonprofit organization exemption under Section 501 {c} (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The post office building was saved and moved to the southwest corner of 10th Avenue and 6th Street West, a historic site formerly occupied by Palmetto’s original city hall and school building. The late Ernest Parrish, Palmetto historian, and Mrs. Harrison chaired the restoration. The work was overseen by Belmont Whittle, who with his wife donated the postal window and boxes from another 1880 facility.

March 25, 1983, Heritage Day, the post office was dedicated as Heritage Station and was opened for business with a special cancellation (postmark) designed by Marvin Thompson, affixed to all mail. Thompson’s design became the Commission’s logo. There has been a new special cancellation designed annually and used each subsequent Heritage Day. The late Jack Roland landscaped the land on which Heritage Station sits. The Park was dedicated as Heritage Park and the garden as the Jack Roland Memorial Garden.

In 1984, with a matching grant from the State, the Palmetto Historical Commission conducted a historical survey of Palmetto and the adjoining area, including Snead Island, Terra Ceia, and Rubonia. Gini Berry and her volunteers recorded over 350 sites with redeeming value and completed the project in less than one year.

In 1985, recognizing the importance of preserving Palmetto’s rich agricultural heritage so well documented by the survey, the Palmetto Historical Commission voted to begin amassing agricultural implements and related material for inclusion into a Manatee County Agricultural Museum. To highlight this and other history, the Commission hosted four luncheons each year. The Commission prepared a video to be used in its Manatee County Fair exhibit in January of 1986. The Commission has won ribbons each year for its Fair exhibits. Under its sponsorship, the Manatee County Agricultural Museum was incorporated independently to build the museum.