Gamble Plantation Historic State Park, Ellenton

4.0
The Judah P. Benjamin Confederate Memorial at Gamble Plantation Historic State Park, also known as the Gamble Mansion or Gamble Plantation, is a Florida State Park which is home to the Florida Division United Daughters of the Confederacy ("UDC"), 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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Gamble Plantation Historic State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
180 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Nice place to visit and learn about local history. Rangers are knowledgable and move the house tours along in a timely manner. Nice tables under the trees to have lunch.  more »
  • Very interesting tour! Its not a long tour but the plantation has alot of history from the 1800s and during the Civil War. Ranger Jesse is the best tour guide! He definitely takes pride in the propert...  more »
  • Wow. Jesse did a great job of providing the history of the Gamble plantation. This house was kept up with the period appropriate decor. The tour guide was very informed. Loved this.  more »
Google
  • Really beautiful landscape and it is nestled in a little town. I really didn't expect it when I first drove up. It looks like a lovely place to have a wedding or some other kind of gathering, and some of the facts I learned while there were interesting. There were a few historic pieces outside but most of the things are inside, which you can see through windows if you don't catch a tour. I took stars off because I feel like they could offer just a bit more to people who don't make tours. The stairs there closed off unless you had a tour guide.
  • Small, peaceful park. Good for a picnic, lots of room for kids to run around. The house tour was very informative and interesting. Our guide was very good at explaining the household items and what they were used for, as well as why the house was built a certain way. (For instance, a story about the "breezeway," and how fried cornmeal came about being called "hushpuppies.") Overall, it was an educational snippet in Florida history of the Manatee area. Makes me glad I didn't live in that era! ☺
  • Complete disappointment! I would have given it 0 stars if I was able. Don't waste your time at this "State Park"... This house was not maintained at all. It's literally falling apart. The state should be ashamed that they've let this historic home get into this shape. The paint is peeling, mold and mildew abounds,. The dust alone... shameful. No pieces of furniture belong to the time period. i understand all original furniture and belongings were taken back to Louisiana. However, you're doing a huge disservice to your own history by filling the house with 1980's furniture. The stairs leading upstairs are unstable and several people opted to not try the dilapidated staircase and departed the tour. The people working at the house have history there through ancestors, AFTER the Civil War. Do not waste your time. Do not waste your money. This old house is decrepit and should have been torn down long ago. At this point, the tax dollars used are being wasted. This isn't preserving history. All stories being told have NOTHING to do with the house during the Civil War and ZERO Confederate soldiers lived there before or during the Civil War. But, for some reason, they fly many Confederate flags. All remnants of history have been stripped down and sold off, original windows included. Whoever is keeping this on their list of "Historical Homes" should have it bulldozed. It may appear beautiful from the street, but trust me when I say, it's not healthy to walk inside.
  • The 1840 Gamble family plantation of over three thousand acres both north and south of the Manatee river was built to grow sugar cane originally then timber as well. This structure is the oldest in Manatee county. Originally from Richmond Virginia, the family had first settled in Tallahassee Florida with a successful sugar cane plantation there. The hardships were many in Manatee though, including a fire of the original sugar mill and changes in the market for sugar. The new mill was built to last with tabby concrete and clay bricks and became the most modern of its kind in all the southeast. The plantation owner's father was an engineer in Virginia and the son may have used those skills to build a canal to drain water from the fields. Visit this site for yourself and try to envision the massive effort required by all, both owner and slave, to live and thrive in early Florida!
  • I be been there several times. It is a wonderful experience for all ages. Not just for history buffs. Annual car show us one of the best in Sarasota Bradenton area.
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