The History of
The Longboat Village
Longboat Key was the vacation land of the Timucuan and Caloosa Indians for hundreds of years. Shell mounds have been found showing that picnics and fish fries were commonplace.
In 1539 Hernando DeSoto is thought to have visited here with his scout, Juan Anasco, manning the “longboat” as it went through the north pass.
In 1891 Civil War veteran Thomas Mann settled with his grown sons on the north end (the Village) and was awarded 144 acres as a homestead grant. One of his sons received another 144 acres on the southern end of the Key. Mann sold his land around the turn of the century for $500.
Homes were built on the north end of Longboat Key in the early 1900’s, some of which, including the Longbeach Cottage are still standing.
Longboat Key’s first home was in the area of Broadway in the Village and was a thatched shack built about 1882 by Thomas Mann, a Civil War veteran from Indiana.
Opposite 631 Broadway is a marker telling of the concrete block house built by attorney John Walters in the early 1900s (condemned and torn down in the 2009) was owned by Longboat pioneer Helen Holt. Farther down Broadway north of the present dock, a marker tells of the covered Town dock that was destroyed in the hurricane of 1921. Ships from Tampa landed there to discharge and pick up passengers who stayed at the hotel, another block house, which is still standing. The ships continued south to Corey’s Landing and Sarasota where they picked up fish and produce and returned to Tampa the next day.