A Little History of Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island’s history can be seen all around us today, with lots to discover and understand about how this beauty of a location came to be!
When you start to look you will find buildings, museums, murals, paintings, exhibits and events celebrating the rich history that has developed on Anna Maria Island and shaped this relaxed, beautiful location into what it is today.
With so much to see and learn, let’s have a quick look back to the very beginning, then you can go and explore the Island with a few pointers and fill in the details in between with some great afternoons visiting some special locations and enjoying the culture.
Anna Maria Island – The Beginning
The first permanent resident on Anna Maria Island was George Emerson Bean, in 1892, settling with his family at the North end of the Island. You can learn more about the beach named after him here. George and his son George ‘Will’ Wilhelm, along with Charles Roser, are the persons most responsible for developing much of what is now the City of Anna Maria.
From 1910 they surveyed, laid out streets as well as sidewalks and built houses. They assembled a dock, the same City Pier, which attracts fishermen and tourists today at the end of Pine Avenue; as well as large steamers which would bring supplies, mail and visitors to the Island. A bathing pavilion was constructed where the Sandbar restaurant sits today as well as many other historic landmarks, which can still be found on the Island.
Must See Historical Sites on Anna Maria
Historic Green Village
One, more significant development on the island is the Historic Green Village on Pine Avenue. It is home to several historic buildings including the Rosedale Cottage, built over 100 years ago by Captain Mitch Davies for George W. Bean. Captain Mitch also built the Roser Church, which is across the street from the Green Village, and you can see that both buildings use the same moulded concrete blocks they used to ship in from Tampa.
The City Jail
The City Jail was another construction by Captain Mitch, which still stands on Pine Avenue. See the Icehouse and the Anglers Lodge here too, both over 100 years old.