Communities rich in history, Parrish and Ellenton are made of two types of people: old-timers and transplants. But all have their focus on the area as a fulfilling place to live, raise a family or take part in community affairs. A prime spot to claim turf in Manatee County, Parrish is expected to have a huge growth spurt when the housing market turns around. Here’s a few things you should know about both:
@BR Body bold Lede colon:THE PARRISH CIVIC ASSOCIATION: Led by president Ben Jordan, this group is active in finding the pulse of the community and organizing people to accomplish a shared goal. The group has been instrumental in providing summer camps, working with Manatee County to establish meeting places and opening a new YMCA-Community Center in Parrish. For more information, call 776-9019.
THE OLD SCHOOLHOUSE: For years, the old schoolhouse on U.S. 301 has been an icon for the historical town. But to become a community meeting place, the schoolhouse first had to undergo a $2 million renovation to upgrade to current fire safety codes and redo the interior. The new community center opened officially in September, with its YMCA partner opening in October.
FLORIDA RAILROAD MUSEUM: Volunteers at the Florida Railroad Museum, U.S. 301 N. and 83rd Street E., have been hard at work enhancing the museum’s role in the community. The non-profit museum collects real train cars and offers weekend rides along its six-mile track, such as war re-enactments, Christmas holiday specials and rides celebrating the advent of fall. For more information, call (877) 869-0800.
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GAMBLE MANSION: A glimpse into Ellenton’s role in the Civil War era is found in the elegant Gamble Mansion, 3708 Patten Ave., Ellenton. The only surviving antebellum plantation house in south Florida, Gamble Mansion was the hideout for Judah P. Benjamin, secretary of state for the Confederacy, at the end of the Civil War. For more information, call 723-4536.
OUTLET MALL: A favorite shopping destination is the Prime Outlets-Ellenton mall, 5461 Factory Shops Blvd. Well-known to neighboring counties, the outlet mall is well-worth the trip for people looking for good deals. Information, call 723-1150.