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A Place We Call Home: Ellenton

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The story of Ellenton begins with the Gamble Plantation . It was built by Robert Gamble in 1843 in Indian territory.

"There were few other settlers around but it was basically Indian territory."

Gamble built a huge sugar operation here.

"At the height of his operation he had over 3000 aces here and at the time, it wasn't a lot of stuff around the community so he had to everything here his own source of food, boat works so he could ship his products in and out."

But when the sugar business tanked, Gamble went bankrupt and moved away. And the house fell into disrepair. Then it made it into the history books.

"Confederate Secretary Judah P. Benjamin was held up here for a couple of days on his way to England."

The next owner was Major George Patten was the next owner. He bought the property in 1870, and built a house next to the mansion.The new township was named after his daughter, Ellen. Ellenton got it's first post office in 1881. Meanwhile the Gamble Mansion was falling into rack and ruin.

"Along about the 1920s the daughters of the confederacy wanted to save it, so they raised money and purchased the home in 1925."

They donated it to the state and it became a state park. A small community grew up around it.

"Eventually it started to built up as more traffic started to come through on 301 and also when the building of the interstate in the 1980s."

Then came the Ellenton Premium Outlet Mall.

"It affected a great deal. A lot of people came down here, the economy started to get better because more people were aware of Ellenton and started to come to the area."

The Ellenton ice rink brings fame to the area by turning out Olympic stars.

Feld entertainment recently moved it's headquarters here and brought well paying jobs. Also there are many charming local gathering spots.

Raven Woodring is an Ellenton native.

"Its a beautiful place, " says Woodring, "everybody's nice."

A lot of people know each other, when every anything goes wrong people come together."