Historic Markers Across Florida

The Fogarty Boat Works

Marker ID:  
Location: Manatee Village Historical Park, 1404 Manatee Ave E, Bradenton, FL
County: Manatee
Coordinates: N 27° 29.711    W 082° 32.865
  27.49518333    -82.54775
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMVCCE


The Fogarty Boat Works

In 1866, three brothers, John, Bartholomew, and Bill Fogarty, settled in Manatee County and established a ship building and coastal trading schooner base on the shore of the Manatee River. In the years before automobiles and railroads, Manatee County and other coastal communities depended on boats as their main form of transportation. The Fogartys developed a thriving business constructing smacks, schooners, sloops and yawls as well as smaller boats. At the age of 19, Bartholomew's son, known as Captain Bat, built his first ship. During his lifetime, Captain Bat constructed hundreds of sailing ships, power vessels, small boats and skiffs. This building housed his last boat works and was closed at his death in 1944. In 1993, Captain Bat's grandson, Charles Fogarty, died, and his sisters-in-law, Margaret Niesiobedzki, and Patricia Blickensderfer, gave the building to the South Florida Museum. Through the combined effort of the museum, the Manatee County Historical Commission, the Florida Maritime Historical Society, and the Fogarty family, the boat works and its contents were preserved, moved to this site, restored by volunteer labor and opened to the public in 1995. Additional equipment and tools from the boat works are on display at the South Florida Museum.

Manatee Village Historical Park