Historic Markers Across Florida

The Village of Cortez

Marker ID:  
Location: 46th Ave W in, Cortez, FL
County: Manatee
Coordinates: N 27° 27.971    W 082° 41.132
  27.46618333    -82.68553333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMVCMC


The Village of Cortez

(Side 1)
Origin of the name CORTEZ cannot be proved but is thought to have begun with the inhabitants of a Spanish fishing "rancho" in this vicinity. The area was known as "Hunter's Point" to local residents until the 1880's. This is borne out by notations found on the U.S. Coast Survey of the Manatee River and vicinity in 1874. Manatee County Deed records show 110 acres here were purchased from Florida Land and Improvement (Disston Purchase) by Allen Gardner for $139.03 on April 17, 1883. In 1887 the 20 acre parcel surrounding and to the north of this site was subdivided and in Sept. 1888 a post office under the name CORTEZ was established with Charles D. Jones as postmaster. Mail came three times a week by boat from Braidentown. During the latter years of the 19th century the area was settled by commercial fishermen of English descent, most often coming here from the coastal counties of North Carolina, primarily Carteret and Onslow.

(Side 2)
The residents called the eastern shore of Sarasota Bay south of the village "THE KITCHEN" as its wealth of fish, scallops and other seafood made it possible for them to feed their families in hard times. Net fishing for the huge schools of black mullet was the core of the Cortez fishing industry and thousands of pounds were annually caught, processed and shipped by boat to Cedar Key and later to Tampa after the railroad arrived there. Records show that by 1897 Cortez was a thriving fishing community with stores, a school and other refinements. The fish houses and other shoreline structures were virtually destroyed by the high waters and winds of the 1921 hurricane but the determined resident rebuilt and continued their chosen trade. Many descendants of the earliest families still reside in the immediate area or in Manatee County and some are still engaged in commercial fishing and related occupations.

he Manatee County Historical Commission
in cooperation with the
Board of County Commissioners