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EXPLORING
CORTEZ

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Welcome to the historic fishing village of Cortez, Florida, originally known as Hunter’s Point. Thanks to the hard work of citizens and the Cortez Village Historical Society, the Cortez Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. Download our walking tour brochure to help you explore one of the last remaining fishing villages on Florida’s Gulf Coast. You can also stop in to pick up a copy at museum front desk.

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11655 Cortez Road West, Cortez, FL 34215

Hours: Friday-Saturday, 10 am-2 pm

Follow the path over a small footbridge to the east of FMM grounds and you will find the Cortez Cultural Center. The Center focuses on preserving “old Florida” history and stories of founding families in Cortez. Exhibits give a glimpse into the lives of Cortezians since the 1880s, painting a picture of a tight-knit neighborhood that valued hard-work, thrifty-living, and a sense of community above all else.

P.O. Box 606, Cortez, FL 34215

F.I.S.H. (Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage) is a grassroots organization dedicated to the promotion, education and preservation of Cortez and Florida’s commercial fishing and other traditional maritime cultures, including the environment upon which these communities depend. The F.I.S.H. Boatworks program on the northern edge of the F.I.S.H. Preserve welcomes volunteers who have a desire to learn about the art of traditional boat building through hands-on experiences.
Contact Rick Stewart at (941) 580-1036 for more information.

Places to Explore in Manatee County

Anna Maria Island Historical Society

402 Pine Ave (P.O. Box 4315), Anna Maria, FL 34216

The Anna Maria Island Historical Society collects, researches, preserves, and exhibits materials and artifacts relating to the history of Anna Maria Island. Learn about Anna Maria Island’s rich history; including its settlers, characters, the original city jail, and a historic cottage that sat on the City Pier but fell into the Bay.

Manatee Village Historical Park

1404 Manatee Ave East, Bradenton, FL 34208

Monday-Friday and the 2nd & 4th Saturdays of the month, 9 am-4 pm

Manatee Village Historical Park is a collection of historical buildings and replicas representing the pioneering spirit of early settlers in this area. Established in 1976, the Museum's mission is to preserve and share the heritage of Manatee County's founding period from 1840-1918. Structures include the 1903 Wiggins General store, 1912 Stephens Settler's home, 1887 Church, 1860 Courthouse, 1908 Bunker Hill Schoolhouse, Fogarty Boatworks, and blacksmith shop. All are presented with period furnishings.

Manatee County Agricultural Museum

1015 6th Street West, Palmetto, FL 34221

Hours: Tuesday-Friday and the 1st & 3rd Saturdays of the month, 10 am-4 pm

Agriculture has always been part of Manatee County's history as well as a stable force and major contributor to the County's economy. At the Manatee County Agricultural Museum, exhibits focus on the County's primary commodities. The Museum features displays of tools, equipment, photographs and exhibits that reflect the area's rich heritage. Located within the Palmetto Historical Park, the Ag Museum often partners with them on school programs, special exhibits, and events.

Palmetto Historical Park

515 10th Ave West, Palmetto, FL 34221

Hours: Tuesday-Friday and the 1st & 3rd Saturdays of the month, 10 am-12 pm and 1-4 pm

Visiting the Palmetto Historical Park is like stepping back in time to a bygone era. Stroll along brick pathways surrounded by a butterfly garden and quaint historical buildings. During regular operating hours, the Carnegie Library welcomes the public to indulge their curiosity just as it did one hundred years ago. In addition to permanent exhibits and a children's hands-on corner, the Carnegie Library boasts the Alice V. Myers Archive Center—a repository of unique historical documents pertaining to Manatee County as a whole, with a special focus on the areas north of the Manatee River.

Manatee County Historical Records Library

1405 4th Ave West, Bradenton, FL 34205

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-4:30 pm

The library houses Manatee County's government records dating back to the county's formation in 1855. The collections include aerial photographs, a historic postcard collection, school attendance and tax records, historic marriage licenses. Family, land and historical researchers are welcome to utilize our files most of which are open to the public.