BRADENTON, Fla. — Supported by the office of the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, the Palmetto Historical Park, Manatee County Agricultural Museum and Manatee Village Historical Park reopened after closing for month-long improvements.
During the closure, the artifacts at the Palmetto Historical Park currently not on display were organized and stored together on the air-conditioned stage in the Carnegie Library. As custodians of the past and in an effort to preserve these relics, staff members properly cared for and stored all items on the windowless stage as a good temporary solution. In the future, the Palmetto Historical Commission plans to build a Preservation and Education facility to house the collection.
The storage area in the 1920 schoolhouse was the only one that remained to be relocated. Some items inside it dated back to the early days of the Palmetto Historical Commission. Several artifacts have been transferred to peer institutions or relocated to the current storage area, including old newspapers, scrapbooks and Palmetto Historical Commission records.
The schoolhouse received restoration work to its windows and walls, including fresh paint. The Cypress House Military Museum was outfitted with new insulation and the ceiling was repainted. Once construction on the schoolhouse and Military Museum projects are completed in fall 2019, they will reopen to the public.
“These historical sites receive more than 46,000 visitors per year, and it’s really important to preserve these facilities in perpetuity for future generations to enjoy and learn about Manatee County’s past,” said Angel M. Colonneso, the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller.
While the Manatee County Agricultural Museum was closed, all the preparation work was accomplished for upcoming programming, including “Make It Take It Tuesdays and Thursdays” program, the installation for the Florida Highwaymen Exhibit and updates to the hands-on Junior Agricultural spots. Manatee County Agricultural Museum staff members also assisted the historic Duette School House and assembled five exhibit cases, and the Curator of the Manatee County Agricultural Museum reviewed, archived and cataloged artifacts and the records of the museum’s history.
Also, during the Manatee County Agricultural Museum closure, the City of Palmetto demolished a section of the museum’s sidewalk and installed drains to help eliminate any future flooding.
Manatee Village Historical Park closed for cleaning, sorting and organizing of its collections. Four filing cabinets full of staff files from the 1980s and 1990s, such as press releases from events, event fliers, notes, ideas and research, were digitally saved and archived. The cabinets have now been replaced with shelving, which provided much-needed space for its artifacts.
Before the departure of Manatee Village Historical Park curator, Bridget Donahue-Farrell who was the first professional, full-time curator for the museum, the staff helped with the files, wrapped up projects and completed the Religion in Manatee exhibit now on display in the Wiggins General Store.
About the Manatee County Clerk of the Court
The Florida Constitution established the Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller as a public trustee, independently elected to protect public funds and public records while executing the functions of Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Comptroller, Treasurer and Auditor, Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners and County Recorder. The Clerk oversees a staff of more than 275 people, responsible for performing nearly 1,000 constitutional or statutory functions or duties, representing the broadest and most diverse mantle of responsibility of any locally elected official. The citizens of Manatee County elect the Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller to a four-year term. Currently, Angelina M. Colonneso serves as the Clerk of the Court. For more information, call 941-749-1800 or visit www.ManateeClerk.com.