Description - In 1844, Major Robert Gamble settled along the shores of Manatee River creating a 3,500-acre sugar, molasses and citrus fruit plantation. Toward the end of the Civil War, Gamble Plantation served as the hiding place for Confederate Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin, who was being pursued by Union soldiers. He eluded the Union hands and eventually escaped to England. In 1872, the plantation was sold to Major George Patten who built a farmhouse for his son in 1895. During the early 20th century, the United Daughters of the Confederacy purchased the property and deeded it to the state with the agreement it remain their headquarters.
Copyright: - Florida Division of Recreation & Parks
Gamble Plantation State Historic Site
Visitors will find the mansion open for tours ($) where they can view oyster shell aggregate construction, 19th century furnishings, and exhibits of the early sugarcane industry.
- The grounds of Gamble Plantation contain the mansion, where tours are given through the house, a visitor center and a picnic area where the visitor can relax and enjoy the beautifully landscaped grounds. This historic site grounds are open from 8 A.M. to sunset. There is no fee to enter the grounds or the visitor center. The mansion is open Thursday through Monday with tours being given at 9:30 and 10:30 A.M., and at 1, 2, 3 & 4 P.M. Tickets for a guided tour of the mansion can be purchased in the visitor center. Price for the tour is $3.00 per adult, $1.50 for ages 6 through 12, and children under 6 are admitted free.
An Open House is held each Thanksgiving season and again in March, hosted jointly by the Florida Park Service and the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Visitors are treated to entertainment on the grounds, free tours through the mansion and ladies and gentlemen in period costumes. Many crafters display wares reminiscent of the antebellum period.
Recreation - Recreational activities include a picnic area and visitors center.
Climate - Summers in northeastern Florida are hot and humid with frequent afternoon thunderstorms. Summer temperatures average in the low 80's Fahrenheit (27 - 28 Celsius). Mild winter temperatures average below 52 degrees Fahrenheit (below 11 Celsius). Freezing temperatures are infrequent but windy conditions are common. The average precipitation for the northeast area is between 52 and 56 inches per year. Light, loose fitting clothing is recommended in spring, summer and fall. Layered clothing is recommended for winter. Biting insects are common throughout the year and are especially heavy from late April through early June.
Gamble Plantation State Historic Site is located in Ellenton on U.S. Highway 301. Take Interstate 75 to exit 43. Then go west on US 301 for 1 mile.