Historic Markers Across Florida

Site of Atwood Grove and Origin of World's 1st Pink Grapefruit/Grapefruit Introduced to Florida in 1846

Marker ID:  
Location: On 10th Street (US 301) between Ellenton and Palmetto, FL
County: Manatee
Coordinates: N 27° 31.287    W 082° 32.781
  27.52145    -82.54635
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMHQW0


Side 1
Across U.S. 301 stood the Kimball C. Atwood Grapefruit Grove and Manavista, a town that he founded in 1892 and encircled with 100 (mile-long) rows of trees. Here in 1913 grove supervisor R.B. Foster found a biological mutation of Pink-fleshed fruit growing on a single limb of a Walters Seedless yellow-fruited grapefruit tree. Citrus growers later labeled the oddity "nature's million dollar mistake." Reasoner Brothers Royal Palm Nurseries grafted budwood from this source onto orange stock, resulting in the 1914 introduction "Foster Seedless Pink Grapefruit." Texas bought its original trees from this Oneco nursery in the 1920s.

Side 2
Grapefruit reached the New World in 1696 after crossing the Pacific in a ship commanded by Captain Shaddock. The fruit was introduced to the island of Barbados in the West Indies and became known as the pomelo and shaddock, the latter after the importer. Names were later changed to "grapefruit" because it grows in clusters, like a grape. The next moves were Jamaica and Cuba and from there Count Odet Philippe introduced grapefruit to Florida in 1846 to what is now Safety Harbor in Pinellas County. In 1963, he was elected to the Florida Citrus Hall of Fame located in Winter Haven.

Manatee County Historical Society