Palma Sola


I went to Palma Sola, located in Manatee County, on 4/7/2018.

According to the website,

Originally referred to as the Village of Palma Sola, the town was platted in 1886 and at the time was the largest city in Manatee County. As the story goes, a solitary palm tree at the edge of the Manatee River guided sailors to safe harbor and drew seamen to settle in the area. Early settlers included J.A. Felts, J.B. Rogers, A.T. Adams, John Flowers, and Asa Pillsbury, who built the Palma Sola Community Church. Palma Sola’s main local industries consisted of timber, fishing, and agriculture. Soon the town became known as a travel and vacation spot. The Palma Sola Hotel, built in the late 1800s was regularly filled to capacity with visitors coming in by train from Jacksonville or by boat from Tampa Bay. By the turn of the century, Bradenton had become the largest town in size and population. Palma Sola became a quiet spot on the map, until the land boom of the 1920s. Land south of the original community began building up with large stately mansions, many of which are still around today. In 1921, perhaps to help cash in on the real estate market, a wooden bridge was built connecting the “new” Palma Sola area to Perico Island. By the 1930s, the bridge was already termed “rickety.” It was eventually replaced with a modern one. On the north side of this new bridge old wood piles are still there from the former one. The original town, now sometimes referred to as Old Palma Sola, still sits up to the north, in amongst the more modern but still out-of-the-way neighborhood community.  By Jim Pike


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