AMI History – Mainsail Vacation Rentals

AMI History

Anna Maria Island is an experience of history and heritage – Old Florida preserved by the sun for the next generation of visitors. Crystal clear water, miles of white sandy beaches, and genuine relaxation. Where time slows to a crawl and life becomes less complex. Laid-back. Simple. Crossing over a bridge from the mainland, one leaves the burden of everyday worries for a more balanced state of being.

To experience Anna Maria Island is to enjoy a sense of community. The familiar. A connection to the land, the water and the generations who have cherished this warm, welcoming island. In the quiet morning at sunrise. In the gentle waves on shore. In the brilliant colors of sunset. You will find your own unique moment to call your own. An indelible memory. And you will be forever linked to this place.

Anna Maria Island was discovered by the local Timucan and Caloosan Native American tribes and, later, by Spanish explorers in the name of the Spanish Crown. Hernando de Soto and his crew entered the mouth of Tampa Bay, north of Anna Maria Island, in May 1539, passing the island by to make their landfall on the mainland.

Anna Maria Island was first settled in the beginning of the twentieth century by Tampa Mayor Madison Post who then named the island for his wife Maria and his sister-in-law Anna. As Cuban fishermen were the first visitors to the island at the southern mouth of Tampa Bay, the settlement was very soon dominated by nautical types.

In 1892, George Emerson Bean became the first permanent resident on the Island, homesteading much of what is now the City of Anna Maria. After Bean’s death in 1898, the land’s ownership transferred to his son, George Wilhelm Bean, who partnered with Charles Roser, a wealthy real estate developer from St. Petersburg, to form the Anna Maria Beach Company in order to develop the area. The company laid out streets, built sidewalks and houses, and installed a water system.

The first bridge that was built to connect Anna Maria Island to mainland Florida began construction in the summer of 1921. A heavy storm wiped out half the bridge, but construction was able to continue. The bridge was finished as scheduled in 1922. It crossed the bay to what now is Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach to the fishing town of Cortez. More people then began to visit the island, which caught the interest of several businessmen.

Nearly a century later, Anna Maria Island has become one of the most popular locations in Florida, visited by both locals and tourists. Its wildlife and nature has attracted many scholars of different sciences such as biology, and marine biology. Graced with sunshine, gulf breezes and a quintessential Old Florida way of life, this seven-mile long barrier island is a much-celebrated destination. Conde Nast Traveler has named it one of the “Top 30 Islands in the World” and TripAdvisor awarded it a “Traveler’s Choice” winner.

CONTACT US

Mainsail Vacation Rentals
5325 Marina Drive,
Holmes Beach, FL 34217
941-600-2340

PROUD PARTNER

CONNECT

Sign up for our newsletter for access to our latest specials and updates.
HAVE A QUESTION?