Reflections of Manatee (Reflections) is a museum situated at the Curry Houses Historic District in Bradenton, Florida. Our mission is to inspire people to gain knowledge from the past to build a better future for our community.
A VISIT TO OUR SITE INCLUDES:
• The Samuel G. and Amanda Curry House (circa 1860): a historic house museum with furnishings from the 1800s.
• The Mary Amelia Curry House (circa 1860): an exhibit center. The Manatee Room currently hosts an exhibit about the early settlement, including artifacts found during archaeological investigations. The "Archaeology of Freedom” exhibit highlights the excavations for Angola including a 3D model of the excavation’s stratigraphy.
• The Theodosia Curry House (1925): Our Visitors Center also houses the exhibit "Freedom Seekers at the Manatee", which tells the dramatic story of the maroon community of Angola and Florida's Underground Railroad.
Manatee Mineral Springs
and Reflections of Manatee
Featured on ABC 7's Suncoast View:
DISCOVERING THE SUNCOAST
WITH MIKE MODRICK
Special Thanks to WWSB ABC7
for allowing us to share this video with you.
READ OUR LATEST NEWSLETTER
It's September at Reflections of Manatee!
We hope that you are staying safe and healthy as summer wanes. Here at Reflections, we have used the summer to gear up for a full season of events and new offerings at our historic complex. You'll find details below of what's coming up this fall, including ways that you can get involved.
The Board has been hard at work planning a full season of events at Reflections. October's newsletter will have the details on a new lecture series kicking off in November, a December fund and friend raiser, and an Afternoon Tea planned for the spring.
Meanwhile, Calling all volunteers! September 25th from 8-11am we will be working on yard clean up. More hands means more fun and no experience needed! You can bring the whole family, and high-schoolers can get community service hours. Reflections owns and maintains 3 historic houses and their property!
Text 727-858-5506 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Meet Two New Directors on the Board of Directors
Jean Lammie (left) comes to us as a PHD Candidate of Anthropology from the University of South Florida, expecting completion in February 2022. She received her MA in Early American History in 2013 and BA in History 2003 from St Leo University.
Jean serves currently as an Archaeology Intern for the City of Tampa. She was a Laboratory Supervisor for the analysis and cataloging phase of our archaeology project on Angola and also Field Technician at our excavations of the Manatee Mineral Spring project that uncovered the Settlement of Angola site in January, 2020. She has been an instructor at University of South Florida in Anthropology and in 2016 was the teaching assistant for the Sapelo Island Gullah Geechee Survey. Before that she taught school while married and raising one son.
She comes to the board as a power house. Jean has been working with Trudy in the office and has helped re-organize and implement systems to put Reflections on a better business footing. She is full of new ideas and has the background needed to, as Trudy says, “re-arrange Reflections to bring it into a new future. Full of vigor and sometimes vinegar as well”. With some future fundraising and grants it is hoped Reflections can pay her to become a full time employee.
We Welcome Elizabeth Neily to the Board of Directors
Elizabeth Neily comes to us with 25 years of historical experience as re-enactors at various museums as well as De Soto National Memorial Park, where she and her husband, Hermann Trappman, were Spanish re-enactors within their Fort. Elizabeth and her husband also published the Florida Historical Gazette for years and now the First Florida Frontiers. She owns a Gulfport business, Neily Trappman Studios. Elizabeth is skilled in textiles of every sort and will lead volunteers operating within our Samuel George and Amanda Curry Living History Museum.
Manatee Mineral Spring Park Update
The rear yard of Reflections Visitors Center will open to Riverwalk East End, the new City of Bradenton park. Reflections gave the City the two acres surrounding the Manatee Mineral Spring and the City purchased the adjoining acre at the river to complete its Riverwalk plans. If you have driven by lately all you see is a construction site; large swales have been dug to hold water and all the grass is gone. But it’s a work in progress.
Trudy has met with the developers, City Councilman Saunders, and City Public Works director Jim McLellan, who is overseeing the project, along with the New Director of the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), Kasterina Gerakios Siren. The meeting focused on plans for the historical aspect of the two acres Reflections had previously donated to the city. Our agreement specifies the sites integrity as a historical park in perpetuity. The meeting served to ensure that Reflections will always have a clear visual sight line, undisturbed from obstruction, from our rear lot to the river. Assurances were given by Councilman Saunders, Jim McLellan, and the Developer Kimley-Horn. There is a low cement circular seating area going in just north of our lot line and the historical signage will be placed within the seat backs; no signs off the ground would be placed that would block our view of the river. The CRA director is interested in placing statue art of a timeline of history near the spring and they will be placing a reproduction of the summer house (gazebo) near the spring as well. The Manatee Mineral Spring itself will be opened. It is nearly identical to the St Augustine Spring historically and its water will flow again.
Jeff has been on site everyday and also on weekends sifting through mountains of soil and leading volunteer efforts to find any artifacts that can still be recovered. Our contract reserved that right, as well as ownership of any artifacts found, if soil was disturbed more than 1 foot deep. The general public is not allowed on the site, but a few volunteers have been approved to help him. He has painstakingly persevered throughout the summer. Thank you Jeff for your volunteering for us in this manner.
Garden Planning and Planting
The staff of the Agriculture Center donated their services to create a landscape plan for the front of the Visitor Center using plants available in 1925 as researched by our perpetual member Ellissa Mirabelli. A committee is working to put this plan into action, as well as planning our pioneer garden that will be in the rear of the Sam G. Museum house. The City of Bradenton has grants that will provide costs to purchase plants. We are setting up a volunteer group to help with the planting. Are you interested? Email us: ReflectionsofManatee@msn.com
Save the Date for our December Silent Auction
Saturday, December 4th, 10 A.M.-2 P.M.
Silent Auction Fundraiser
Find unique Christmas presents, play lawn games, bring a picnic, enjoy our grounds, and see if you can spot Bluebell, our resident blue bee for yourself. We will be offering small group tours of the historic houses including our newest exhibit on the Angola settlement. Need to renew your membership or buy one as a Christmas present for a friend? We will have our membership table set up for that as well. Are you a big fan of National Park Sites? Come over and get your passport stamped with our official NPS Underground Railroad stamp. We will be selling water and limited sealed refreshments due to ongoing concerns of COVID. We also require that all visitors wear a mask when inside the buildings. For more information, please email email@example.com. If you would like to volunteer at the event, please text Jean Lammie at 727-858-5506, and she will be happy to provide you with more information. We look forward to inviting our old friends and new friends back to Reflections.
Whew! That's everything for now! Have a great month.
We hope to see or hear from you soon!