Know Your Neighborhood

Know Your Neighborhood
Posted on 12/01/2020
Old Braden Castle Postcard (1909)You might know your neighbors, but how well do you know about your neighborhood? Now you can dig up details of over 33 communities that make up much of Manatee County’s 2,000 neighborhoods through a new Neighborhood Histories’ Website.

Created by the Manatee Libraries Information Services’ team, as part of their Historical Digital Collections, the site provides tidbits of neighborhood history with links to digital collections and print archives, along with local parks, schools and other points of interests.

Some of the information might surprise you. For example, did you know:

Manatee County once had its own “Castle?” It was a large two-story structure made of lime, sand and crushed shells in 1850 that housed Dr. Joseph Addison Braden, a physician and native Virginian. The site is now called Braden Castle Park, a 55+ cottage- and mobile-home community.

How Myakka City and Memphis got their names? Named after the Miakka River (later changed to “Myakka”), is thought to be a translation of the Hitchiti word for bodies of water. And Memphis was originally called “New Memphis,” in honor of some of the earliest residents who were from Memphis, Tennessee.

Several military families moved into Whitfield and nearby Bayshore Gardens during the post-war housing boom? Both communities were close to the Sarasota Army Airfield Army Air Corps (Sarasota Bradenton Airport leased their property to the Army Air Corps from 1942 to1947).

To find out more about these neighborhoods, along with which communities were established as Historical Districts, the fastest growing community and the one that was largely unpopulated until the 1990s, go to

For questions about the Manatee County Neighborhood Histories project, including how to add any historical information you might like to contribute to the collection, contact Katie Fleck, Information Services Librarian and Neighborhood Histories coordinator.