NAME: Palma Sola
COUNTY: Manatee
CLIMATE: warm most of the year, moderate to cold in winter
BEST TIME TO VISIT: anytime is fine
COMMENTS: Now located along the edge of the city of Bradenton. State Road 64 (Manatee Ave) west to 75th Street, head north and follow the sign to the original community area. Further north on 75th leads to Desoto National Memorial Park, site of his original 1538 landing in Florida. Palma Sola Blvd south off of SR 64 leads to Palma Sola Park, an area of very nice historic homes from the 1920's and 30's.
REMAINS: Palma Sola Community Church, cemetery, original wooden bridge remains
Originally referred to as the Village of Palma Sola, the town was platted in 1886 and for a 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 1800's 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 1920's. 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 1930's 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. Submitted by: Jim Pike

Palma Sola Community Church, est 1886
Courtesy Jim Pike

Palma Sola cemetary, resting spot of many original town founders
Courtesy Jim Pike

Original Palma Sola church bell
Courtesy Jim Pike

Historic marker at church site
Courtesy Jim Pike

Palma Sola Community Church, 1912
Courtesy Jim Pike

Palma Sola Hotel, 1890's
Courtesy of USF Digital Library

Palma Sola town plat, 1886
Courtesy of USF Digital Library