Saturday, November 1, 2014

Demolishing History -

It's an old house dating back to the 1880's and it belonged to an historic family and has historic designation.  Yet all of that is not enough to save it from demolition.

Sadly this grand old lady of a house will be torn down to make way for . . . are you ready for this ? . . . a Racetrack gas station ! 
As I took these photos and thought of what was being lost, I found tears forming and cascading down my cheeks.  Such a loss . . . a page gone from the history of Manatee County . . . a grand house that no future child will ever see or have knowledge of.  How can nobody care ?  The truth is that Manatee County is eyeing the taxes that they'll be getting from Racetrack and our politicians feel that money trumps history any day any time !
Photos above and below show the historic information plaques and stand proudly outside of the Historic Reasoner Homestead.
The Reasoner brothers were pioneer nurserymen, started one of the first mail order plant catalogs and introduced many new plant species into the country.
The property abounds with palm trees and gigantic ancient oaks, dripping with Spanish moss.  A yard that was once immaculate is now neglected and overgrown with brush and weeds. 
I suppose these enormous old oaks will be sacrificed to make way for another concrete paved  gas station.  We already have 3 other gas stations all within half a block from this historic house.
 The grand old house has been boarded up and is falling into disrepair. 

 I always dreamt that, had I the money, I  would have purchased this beauty, restored her to her former glory and turned her into either a B & B or perhaps a tea room.  But it was only a fantasy.  The property sits within a prime commercial area and Racetrack paid 1.2 million for the property.
When the Grand old Lady was built she was out in the country and was the pride of Manatee county. She was Manatee's finest, largest, grandest residence.  But time plows its way through history, the city built up around the grand Lady and the present owners found they could no longer afford to pay the property taxes.  Unfortunately the county sat back and didn't lift a finger to try to preserve this bit of history. 


Good Bye old house, so long to your past and the very history that helped to make Manatee County, Florida what it is today. 
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