Bradenton Beach, Florida

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Bradenton Beach, Florida
City of Bradenton Beach
Bradenton Beach
Bradenton Beach
Official seal of Bradenton Beach, Florida
Blessed With History, Hospitality, Spirit
Location in Manatee County and the U.S. state of Florida
Location in Manatee County and the U.S. state of Florida
Bradenton Beach, Florida is located in Florida
Bradenton Beach, Florida
Bradenton Beach, Florida
Location within the state of Florida
Bradenton Beach, Florida is located in the United States
Bradenton Beach, Florida
Bradenton Beach, Florida
Bradenton Beach, Florida (the United States)
Coordinates: 27°28′16″N 82°41′59″W / 27.47111°N 82.69972°W / 27.47111; -82.69972Coordinates: 27°28′16″N 82°41′59″W / 27.47111°N 82.69972°W / 27.47111; -82.69972
CountryUnited States
Incorporated (city)December 21, 1951
 • TypeWeak Mayor-Commission
 • MayorRobert (Bob) Bartelt
 • Total1.19 sq mi (3.08 km2)
 • Land0.52 sq mi (1.34 km2)
 • Water0.67 sq mi (1.74 km2)
−10 ft (−3 m)
 • Total908
 • Density1,756.29/sq mi (678.15/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)941
FIPS code12-07975[2]
GNIS feature ID0279312[3]

Bradenton Beach is a city on Anna Maria Island in Manatee County, Florida, United States. The population was 1,171 at the 2010 census, and 1,278 in the 2018 U.S Census estimates.[4] It is part of the Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city occupies the southern part of Anna Maria Island and is one of three municipalities on the island. The others are Holmes Beach in the center and Anna Maria in the north.



1920s & 1930s[edit]

Bradenton Beach was originally referred to as Cortez Beach since it was close to Cortez.[5] Construction on a wooden bridge to the mainland would begin in the summer of 1921. The 1921 Tampa Bay Hurricane that October would destroy 80% of the bridge that was built up to that point. Despite a majority of the bridge being destroyed, it would later be completed sometime in June 1922; 8 months later.[6]

A two story pavilion at the end of Bridge Street would be built that same year. It would have 100 lockers along with a dance hall and dining room located in the center of the building. On the second floor, the owners of the pavilion had their apartments. It would burn down after a fire and was later rebuilt. The pavilion would catch on fire for a second time in 1929 and being destroyed in the process and never rebuilt.[7] Bradenton Beach started to be known as its present-day name during the mid 1920s as the Florida land boom was occurring. Real estate developers saw this as a way to convince possible buyers that it was closer to Bradenton.[8] Sometime in early 1926, a county bond was approved to build a wooden bridge linking Bradenton Beach to Longboat Key with the bridge being finished in August. However, the bridge was only open until October after a hurricane damaged it. On March 6, 1932, the bridge would be swept away during a high tide. It would not be replaced until 1957.[9]


The Regina, a tanker barge with over 350,000 gallons of molasses onboard and 8 crew, would sink 200 yards offshore on a sandbar during March 8, 1940. Regina was under tow by a tugboat, Minima and the line that was towing it had broke near Egmont Key. Both vessels had decided to try and go into Tampa Bay seeking shelter because of the weather conditions. 1 of the crew members, its cook and a German Shepherd onboard the ship would die during an attempt to leave the ship. All 7 other crew members would end up being rescued.[10][11]

A post office called Bradenton Beach has been in operation since 1941.[12]


Bradenton Beach would later be incorporated on December 21, 1951 after voting 84–56 to become a city. Bernard Wagaman would serve as Bradenton Beach's first mayor[13] who owned a cottage rental apartment complex there named Wagaman's Modern Apartments.[14] The main wooden bridge to the island from Cortez would be replaced by a concrete one in 1957 as local residents wanted a stronger bridge. A parade led by an elephant was hosted by the city to display its strength and to convince the local residents as well. To offset the cost of the bridge, the local government made it a toll bridge until 1964 when it was reimbursed. Cars were charged 30¢ entering the island and no toll was put in place on those leaving the island.[15]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.8 km2), of which 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) (50.00%) is water. However, according to the Bradenton Beach government website, it has an area of five square miles.[16]


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[17]

At the 2000 census,[2] there were 1,482 people, 803 households and 391 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,704.9 per square mile (1,040.4/km2). There were 1,762 housing units at an average density of 3,215.9 per square mile (1,236.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.52% White, 0.27% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.34% from other races, and 0.61% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.69% of the population.

There were 803 households, of which 11.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.3% were married couples living together, 5.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 51.2% were non-families. 40.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.85 and the average family size was 2.40.

10.6% of the population were under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 35.2% from 45 to 64, and 24.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 50 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.0 males.

The median household income was $32,318 and the median family income was $46,583. Males had a median income of $26,146 compared with $20,772 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,850. About 3.9% of families and 7.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.9% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.


The Tingley Memorial Library is located at 111 2nd Street, North, behind City Hall.[18] It was built with a $600,000 bequest from the estate of Beulah Rebecca Hooks Hannah Tingley (1893–1986) and is maintained without the use of public funding. In 2000, Beulah Tingley was declared a "Great Floridian" by the state and a plaque attesting to that honor was placed above the front door of the library.[19]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 31, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  5. ^ "Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Google News Archive Search". Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  6. ^ Favorite, Merab (September 30, 2018). "Sunday Favorites: Camping at Turtle Beach". The Bradenton Times. Archived from the original on July 15, 2020. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  7. ^ "The Beach and the Bradenton Beach Pavillion and Bathhouse". Manatee County Public Library System: Digital Collection. Archived from the original on May 17, 2021. Retrieved May 17, 2021.
  8. ^ Grimes, David (November 23, 1979). "The Legends Behind Manatee Names". Sarasota Herald-Tribune. pp. 3B. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  9. ^ "The History of Longboat Key". Longboat Key History. Retrieved July 21, 2020.
  10. ^ "Regina - Learn about the History". Florida “Museums in the Sea”. 2007. Archived from the original on February 20, 2010. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  11. ^ "Regina Learn about the History Audio Transcripts" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on August 18, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  12. ^ "Manatee County". Jim Forte Postal History. Archived from the original on July 15, 2015. Retrieved June 6, 2015.
  13. ^ "The Islander - About Us". Anna Maria Island News. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  14. ^ "Wagaman's Modern Apartments, Bradenton Beach". Manatee County Public Library System: Digital Collection (Postcard). Archived from the original on November 10, 2021. Retrieved November 10, 2021.
  15. ^ Favorite, Merab (September 30, 2018). "The Mainland Connection". The Bradenton Times (Digital). Retrieved May 9, 2022.
  16. ^ "City of Bradenton Beach Florida". Archived from the original on April 11, 2014. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  17. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 28, 2001. Retrieved January 26, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ [1] Archived November 22, 2010, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]