Historic Markers Across Florida

Duette School/Forks of the Manatee River

Marker ID:  
Location: On Wauchula Rd (SR 62) at Catton Rd.
County: Manatee
Coordinates: N 27° 35.410    W 082° 07.418
  27.59016666    -82.12363333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM35EQ


Side one:
This five-room school was built in 1930 by volunteer labor when three smaller rural schools, Albritton, Bunker Hill and Duette were consolidated. It is the only one-teacher school remaining in the state of Florida. For many years it was a "strawberry school" with classes held from April to December. The school once went to eight grades and had as many as 80 pupils. Ada Bilbrey served as teacher and principal here for over 30 years. Today, Duette School serves area students from Kindergarten through 4th grade.

Side Two:
Located between the north and east forks of the Manatee River, this area was the home of five small communities, Duette, Keentown, Albritton, Dry Prairie and Bunker Hill. While the land remained sparsely settled into the 1900´s, each community remained distinct until the mid 1930´s. Pioneers used family names for Keentown and Albritton, while Dry Prairie´s name came from the landscape. The origin of Bunker Hill and Duette are not clear, but Duette might refer to a Canadian family who came here in the mid 1800´s.

Sponsored by: Manatee County Historical Commission with the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners - 1997