A post office named Parish was established in 1879, and the name was changed to Parrish in 1950. The community was named and established by Crawford Parrish, who was from Georgia and his wife Mary Bratcher Vanzant who was born in 1841. After they were married and after the Civil War they moved south to what is now known originally as the Suwanee River and bought land and had slaves work there. In 1867 they sold the land and decided to move to the Manatee River. He had stayed for several years and built a home on the banks of the river in what is now Oak Hill (unknown location). He was a rancher and later an orange grower. Also, he was the founder of the original town site.
Parrish contains the Florida Railroad Museum, which operates weekend passenger rides round trip from Parrish north about 6 miles to Willow.