A few months ago I went with my friend Roxana to Gamble Plantation. It is a Florida State Park located in Ellenton. It used to be a sugar plantation back in the day. According to Wikipedia – it was built principally by enslaved laborers and artisans using local materials over the course of five to six years. On the grounds is a mansion, an outstanding example of antebellum construction in the Doric Revivalist vernacular architectural style. The mansion’s columns and two-foot-thick walls are made of tabby, a unique type of concrete first used by Spanish and English settlers on the Atlantic coast and Sea Islands as an alternative to clay bricks, which could not be produced due to a lack of clay in the coastal soil. Today, the mansion is considered a monument to the craftsmanship of the enslaved African-American artisans and laborers who constructed it.
As a testament to its use, there are also some old sugar cane rollers which have sat in this place since 1953 when they were donated to the Manatee County Historical Society. Left out in the elements the have gather a lot of rust!
Its worth a visit, however, unlike us, you should avoid Tuesdays and Wednesdays when they are closed. You can still walk around the grounds though.