Historic Markers Across Florida

The Stephens House

Marker ID:  
Location: Manatee Village Historical Park, 1404 Manatee Ave E, Bradenton, FL
County: Manatee
Coordinates: N 27° 29.691    W 082° 32.869
  27.49485    -82.54781666
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMVCCK


The Stephens House

A prime example of the “Cracker Gothic" style, this home was built in 1912 by the Will Stephens family. It is an excellent representation of a Florida rural frame house during the period between the 1870's and World War I. This third home on the Stephens homestead, established in 1894, was located in what has become western Hardee County.

The pine timber and heart pine blocks used to build the house were cut on the homestead. There was no electricity and the fireplace was used for heat. For cooling, the house was raised about 2-1/2 feet, allowing air to circulate from under the house into the interior through cracks in the floor. A pitcher pump on the back porch supplied water. Porches on three sides shaded and cooled the breeze before it entered the house. The large central hallway or “dog-trot" with a high ceiling funneled the cooled air through the house.
The International Minerals and Chemical Corporation acquired the homestead and donated the house to the Manatee County Historical Commission. It was moved to the park in February 1982. Restoration of the structure was completed by volunteer labor with funds contributed from the community. It was opened to the public in 1984.

Manatee Village Historical Park