Manatee County Historical Commission Inc
1404 Manatee Ave E
Bradenton FL 34208
Our mission is to preserve our past to enrich our future. The Manatee County Historical Commission does this by:
  • Advocating for historic preservation and cultural tourism;
  • Preserving historic buildings and artifacts;
  • Educating the public through our programming; 
  • Creating and maintaining the historical environment of the Manatee Village Historical Park; and
  • Raising community and financial support to maintain and expand these efforts.
CEO/Executive Director Phaedra Carter
Board Chair Hinning Bolanos
Board Chair Company Affiliation Perfect Aide for Seniors
History and Background
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Awarded a competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years?
Incorporation Year 1979
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $37,650.00
Projected Expenses $30,000.00
Additional Documents
IRS Letter of Determination
MCHC IRS Determination Letter
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
Permit? Yes Feb 2015
Registration 0

During the last year the Manatee County Historical Commission has:

  1. Completed Phase III of the Steeple restoration project & installed air conditioning in the 1887 Old Meeting House Church, increasing our event rental season & capacity to earn revenue for historical preservation.
  2. Begun development of a website and updated social media platform to increase our reach and impact.
  3. Constructed the “Junior Junction” train-themed children’s play area, designed to attract families and to reduce wear on  “Old Cabbagehead” – the 1913 steam locomotive located at Manatee Village Historical Park
  4. Formed a Collections Committee and drafted a Collections Management Policy for Manatee Village Historical Park.
  5. Developed a new WWII exhibit “Devotion to Duty” as part of the Legacy of Valor initiative.

Goals for 2014 - 2015:
  1. Complete restoration of the 1887 Old Meeting House Church Steeple. 
  2. Raise funding to increase accessibility by improving pedestrian walkways throughout Manatee Village Historical Park.
  3. Devise and implement a fundraising plan for the restoration of the 1886 William H. Vanderipe House.
In 1974, a group of women left a business meeting of Manatee United Methodist Church, and lamented how they could save their historic sanctuary, which had been built in 1887.  The structure, along with a smaller building owned by the congregation, once Manatee County’s first courthouse, were to be torn down to make room for a new sanctuary and parking lot to accomodate a growing congregation. That night, they vowed to do all that they could to save the two structures.
The initial group, who rallied to save the two buildings, became known as the H.O.M.E. (Heritage of Manatee’s Environment) Committee.  Realizing that Manatee County had once had a Historical Commission which was no longer operating, they convinced the Board of County Commissioners to reestablish the Manatee County Historical Commission by ordinance making the Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court a perpetual member.  The remaining sixteen members would be appointed by the Board of County Commission each year.  They also organized the Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc. with its purpose to protect and preserve Manatee County’s history and to educate the county’s residents and visitors about that history.  As both a government ordained and a non-profit organization, the Manatee County Historical Commission stood ready to take on the task of saving the 1887 church and the 1860 courthouse. 
Both buildings were moved to the Park in December of 1974.  The effort became part of Manatee County’s celebration of the United States bicentennial and some funding for the bicentennial effort became seed money for the establishment of the Manatee Village Historical Park.  Most of the funding, however, came from private donors raised by Historical Commission members asking their friends, community leaders, and businesses for support.  The Park officially opened to the public on July 4, 1976. The effort continues today through encouraging historical preservation as Manatee County continues to grow and develop, as well as through raising support for the maintenance of the collection of buildings at Manatee Village Historical Park. For over thirty-five years, donations, grants, expertise and volunteers supplied by the Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc. and funding made available through the Clerk of Circuit Court by the Board of County Commission has allowed residents as well as visitors from far & wide to experience Manatee County’s pioneer heritage in its various buildings and programming. 


  1. Replacement of pedestrian walkways throughout Manatee Village Historical Park to increase accessibility to structures/exhibits;
  2. Installation of concrete slab and climate controlled storage unit for additional housing of our extensive artifacts collection;
  3. Volunteers to help conduct school programs for elementary school aged children, help facilitate Manatee County History Fair, conduct group tours of Manatee Village Historical Park, or work in the Whistle Stop Gift Shop;
  4. Knowledgeable, active volunteers to serve on standing committees and task forces of the Manatee County Historical Commission;
  5. Design and implementation of Hands-On History Stations around Manatee Village Historical Park


Area Served
Areas Served
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
Service Categories
Primary Org. Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org.Type Education
Description Historical preservation at Manatee Village Historical Park is currently taking place within the 1887 Old Meeting House, which has been the center of Park since it was opened in 1976. As was true of many early American churches, the Old Meeting House, the oldest house of worship in Manatee County, provided a place for the community’s most momentous occasions, celebrations, and cultural exchanges. But after more than 125 years of service to generations of county residents this historic Bradenton landmark is at great risk and needs our help.
Recently it was discovered the steeple has become the victim of termites. After professional evaluation taken under consideration by the Park’s Development Committee, a “from the ground up” approach has been recommended. Phases I, II, & III of the project have been completed, which has reinforced the vestibule and tower systematically from the inside out. Phases IV & V will complete the reinforcement of the belfry and spire.
Budget $75,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Historic Preservation & Conservation
Program linked to organizational strategy? Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified
Short Term Success
The short term success of this program is to reinforce a portion of this historic structure and protect it from further deterioration. Preserving the steeple is only part of maintaining the whole structure, whose preservation enables its use as a tool in educating the local comminuty and visitors to this area about our culture, as well as the benefits of the practice of historic preservation. The rental fees generated from private use of this structure for weddings and other special occaisons also plays a part in our ability to continue preservation efforts and public programming at Manatee Village Historical Park. Increased revenue from rentals translates to additional preservation projects & more public programming, which in turn educates our visitors about the history and culture of our area. In short preservation projects, like this provide more opportunities to share the culture our organization strives to preserve.
Long Term Success
The steeple restoration can serve as a prime example of historic preservation and how it can benefit an enitre community. There are many and varied benefits that come from historical preservation projects like this. They keep our community beautiful, vibrant, and livable, and give people a stake in their surroundings. Historic preservation supports community building by making our surroundings richer for having the tangible presence of past eras and historic styles. It helps support the local economy through revitalization, tourism and revenue generation.  Historic preservation also demonstrates an environmentally friendly way to revitalize business districts and residential neighborhoods. And finally, preserved structures teach local heritage, increase understanding of the past and encourage cultural respect and civic responsibility. 
How Program is Monitored
Success of this program will be monitored by the timely completion of this project, the ability to continue preservation projects throughout the entirety of the structures housed within Manatee Village Historical Park, and the continued use of these structures as vehicles to provide public programming and to serve  as tangible learning tools to those who visit the Park.
Examples of Program Success
Examples of successful historical preservation projects completed by the Manatee County Historical Comission are the initial move and restoration of the 1887 Old Meeting House Church in 1975, followed by the 1860 Manatee County Courthouse in 1976, the Stephens Settler's House in 1984, The K.W. Wiggins General Store in 1988, the Bunker Hill School House in 1990, the Smokehouse and Cane Syrup Kettle in 1991, and the Fogarty Boat Works in 1994. All of these structures have served to educate hundreds of thousands of visitors of all ages, by illustrating and preserving the memory of pioneer life in early Southwest Florida.
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Phaedra Carter
CEO Term Start Jan 2011
Full Time Staff 4
Part Time Staff 1
Volunteers 157
Contractors 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Management Reports to Board N/A
Organization Plans
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 15
Strategic Plan Adopted May 2011
Management Succession Plan No
Policies and Procedures No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Senior Staff
Christine Brown Special Events & Marketing Coordinator
Patrick Files Maintenance Technician
Melissa Porter Education & Volunteer Coordinator
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
NonManagement Formal Evaluation N/A

The Manatee County Historical Commission collaborates with the Manatee County Clerk of Ciruit Court & Comptroller for administrative functions. The Historical Commission is considered a government appointed advisory board. New board memebrs nominated by a vote of the current board, then are appointed by the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners. This process is established by County Ordinance. The Ordinance provides that the Manatee County Clerk of Court will serve on this board as an ex-officio member, and as such has the ability to provide staff to tend to the business of the Manatee County Historical Commission. The Manatee County Historical Commission is a partner in maintaining Manatee Village Historical Park along with the Manatee County Clerk of Court’s Department of Historical Resources, due to this arrangement. The Clerk of Court’s office also provides an operating budget which covers utilities, office supplies, telecommunications systems, minor maintenance, some volunteer education and recognition needs, some school programming, and the salaries of Manatee Village Historical Park staff. Staff facilitates the meetings & business of the Historical Commission, & maintain its records and finances. 

External Assessments and Accreditations
National Register of Historic Places - Listed Property1976
Florida Preservation Award - Meritorious Achievement in Rehabilitaition of Non-Residential StrucutreFlorida Trust for Historic Preservation1991
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the Government?
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Governance Board Chair
Board Chair Hinning Bolanos
Company Affiliation Perfect Aide for Seniors
Term Jan 2015 to Dec 2015
Board Members
Board Members
C. Joan Baldy Community Volunteer
Pam Blaylock Community Volunteer
Hinning Bolanos Perfect Aide for Seniors, LLC
Elizabeth J. Boling Community Volunteer
Wylene Graham Retired
Jan Greene Community Volunteer
Bridgette Halliburton Community Volunteer
Bill Howard Community Volunteer
Barbara King Community Volunteer
Ray Lopez Jr.Community Volunteer
John Nash Manatee County Rural Health Services, Inc.
Jim Reger Retired
R.B. "Chips" Shore Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller
John Stephens Sr.North Manatee Realty, Inc.; Zirkelbach Commercial Realty, LLC; Southwest Florida Water Permitting Service, Inc.
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 7
Board Term Lengths 4
Board Term Limits 0
Board Orientation Yes
Board Meeting Attendance % 65
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria? No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 53
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Constituency Includes Client Representation
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Youth Board Members
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development? No
Standing Committees
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Board Governance
Fiscal Affairs
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year 2014
Projected Revenue $37,650.00
Projected Expenses $30,000.00
Endowment Value $104,122.00
Spending Policy Income Only
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201320122011
Program Expense$20,518$35,769$45,011
Administration Expense$12,159$9,887$9,820
Fundraising Expense$593$1,978$233
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses2.201.320.66
Program Expense/Total Expenses62%75%82%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue1%4%1%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Assets$620,515$582,208$570,281
Current Assets$212,206$175,579$162,641
Long-Term Liabilities$96,907$101,148$105,198
Current Liabilities$3,132$653$94
Total Net Assets$520,476$480,407$464,989
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201320122011
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $52,293Contributions, gifts, grants $34,380Contributions, gifts, grants $20,610
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $9,550Fundraising $19,025Fundraising $6,244
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFacility Rental $7,125Facility Rental $4,727Net income from sale of inventory $4,128
CEO Compensation
Co-CEO Compensation
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities67.75268.881730.22
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets16%17%18%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Campaign Purpose The steeple of the 1887 Old Meeting House Church has termite damage. The multiphase, from the ground up, reinforcement process is estimated to cost $75,000.
Goal $75,000.00
Amount Raised To Date 67396 as of Feb 2015
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the 990.  Financial figures were taken solely from the IRS Form 990s.
Nonprofit Manatee County Historical Commission Inc
Address 1404 Manatee Ave E
Bradenton, FL 34208
Primary Phone 941 741-4075
CEO/Executive Director Phaedra Carter
Board Chair Hinning Bolanos
Board Chair Company Affiliation Perfect Aide for Seniors
Year of Incorporation 1979