Gamble House reveals rich history of sugar plantations

- The Gamble House in Manatee County is a historical work of art and popular tourist spot. It's also the oldest standing building in the county.

The plantation, nestled off U.S. 301 South in Ellenton, has beautiful parks with picnic tables and a visitor center, which offers guided tours of the home and grounds six times a day.

Kevin Kiser of the Gamble Plantation Historic State Park gave FOX 13 News a tour and explained some of the rich history behind the plantation's name.

"The Gamble Plantation was a sugar a plantation. It was owned by Major Robert Gamble," Kiser said.

It's the only surviving plantation house in South Florida. Gamble's family was from Virginia. He came to Florida because of the Arm Occupation Act, which gave people free land in return for help settling the area.

"The sugar market fell out only a few years after he got established here," Kiser explained. "He went bankrupt, so he left like in 1847 or 1848."

The visitor center is open from 9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., Thursday through Monday; and closed most major holidays. 

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