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First Manatee County Courthouse

Constructed in 1860, this small wood framed building is believed to be the oldest remaining county courthouse built for that purpose in Florida. During the Civil War, the courthouse served as the political and judicial center of Manatee County which at that time also included present-day Charlotte, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Highlands, and Sarasota Counties. Throughout the war, the Manatee County Commission met at the courthouse in emergency sessions to distribute available food and money to families whose male members were serving in the Confederate military or who had died while in the service. In 1975, the courthouse building was relocated to the Manatee Village Historical Park where it was restored and opened as part of the Park's exhibition on Manatee County pioneer life.