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Gamble Plantation Historic State Park, Ellenton
(3.9/5 based on 130+ reviews on the web)
Gamble Plantation Historic State Park, also known as the Gamble Mansion, is a Florida State Park located in Ellenton, Florida, on the Manatee River and US 301. It consists of the antebellum mansion developed by its first owner, Major Robert Gamble; a 40,000-gallon cistern to provide the household with fresh water; and 16acre of the former sugarcane plantation. At its peak, the plantation included 3,500 acres, and Gamble likely held more than 200 slaves to work the property and process the sugarcane.The mansion was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Robert Gamble House on August 12, 1970. Its columns and two-foot-thick walls are constructed of tabby, a regional material developed as a substitute for brick.The park also includes the restored wood-frame, two-story, Victorian-style Patten House, built in 1872 for owner George Patten. In 1925, the mansion and grounds were purchased by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) and donated to the state as a memorial to Judah P. Benjamin, who served in three Cabinet positions under Confederate President Jefferson Davis during the American Civil War. He stayed at the plantation in May 1865, before escaping Union forces and sailing to England, where he had a second career.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Billed as the only surviving sugar plantation and mansion in South Florida, it is a fascinating step into the past - at least I found it so. While it is free to enter and wander around ( and there are...  more »
  • If you are in the area and have an hour to spare it is certainly worth a visit. The guide was extremely interesting and it was certainly worth the $6 for the tour. 
  • The plantation is not a large property but is worth a visit for a couple of hours mainly for the docent tours of the old house. The building construction has an interesting history and the family back...  more »
Google
  • Great historical site. Ranger Ed gave us a very informative tour
  • Great place to visit if you're around the Palmetto area in Florida
  • Get there about 20 minutes before a tour time, but your ticket in the visitors center, visit the museum and do the tour. Worth it for history buffs who are passing thru or are in the area. The guide was very knowledeable and gave a nice 45 minute tour of the inside of the mansion. Most of the original plantation grounds have been sold off.
  • Not as spectacular as some of the Plantations in Georgia, but OK for a short visit before or after a trip to the Ellenton Outlets.
  • Guided tour is very informational. If you don't get the tour, don't waste your time.