Gamble Plantation Historic State Park, Ellenton

Must see · State Park · Farm
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 37th Avenue East 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 16 acres (65,000 m2) 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 fleeing from the Union forces and sailing to England, where he had a second career.

The Gamble Mansion serves as home to the Florida Division United Daughters of the Confederacy ("UDC"). In 1937, the UDC installed a memorial plaque to Benjamin at the mansion. Also on the grounds is the Confederate Veterans Memorial Monument, erected October 10, 1937.
In 2002, the State of Florida acquired the property which holds the ruins of the plantation's sugar mill, one of the South's largest, and added it to the historic park complex.

On April 18, 2012, the AIA's Florida Chapter placed the Gamble Mansion on its list, Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places.
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Gamble Plantation Historic State Park reviews

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  • Be sure to stop by if you are in the area. Hopefully Ranger Jesse will be on duty for your tour!! He was knowledgeable and sensitive about delicate aspects of history that took place here. His...  more »
  • The oldest plantation house in Florida was a very interesting and educational tour through the house and is on beautiful grounds. It's a nice relaxing day just walking these wonderful grounds and...  more »
  • This place is true history. So many times we want to hide from what is our history. Gamble Mansion is part of the slavery area it does have the quarters. Yet we managed to take statues down from by our courthouses that show slavery was in existence. We can't hide our history as much as we would like. It is what happened. We should learn from that not run from it. Gamble Plantation surely is a part of that history and does show us what things were in our past here in Manatee County. It's a fantastic place to go and learn about our history. They also have different events at other times of the year that help us learn and understand about our history. Whether our history is right or wrong it is our history. The best thing we can do is learn from history.....
  • It is amazing that a house from the 1800's is still standing and in such good condition for it's age. Jessie gave us all a very nice tour with lots of interesting history.

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