MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. -- 87-year-old retired Army Colonel Charles Jones moved to Palma Sola in 1933.
It was a very friendly, Everybody knew everyone, the main industries were farming, fishing, growing gladiola and making moonshine."
Palma Sola got its name from a tall palm tree that served as a navigational landmark.
On the point there was a real tall palm tree. This would mark the entrance to the Manatee River.
Palma Sola's location between Palma Sola Bay, the intracoastal and the Manatee River made it a great place for farming in the early days. About the only agriculture today is Orbans Nursery where they've been growing poinsettias since 1914. And the Palma Sola Botanical Park, a spot volunteers have turned into a tropical fruit paradise.
"In the rare fruit area we have 60 different trees. We have 7 varieties on mangoes, we have avocados, cherries citrus pomegranate."
It's free and open to the public as is the Robinson Preserve right next door. The first white settler, James Warner, arrived in Palma Sola in 1868. But Native Americans had been here thousands of years and left behind several Indian burial mounds. Smithsonian scientists have studied them.
"They came down and took skeletons in the 1920s but they kept a few."
Charles says they used to find Indian artifacts.
The developers arrived in the 70s and ever since then, Palma Sola has grown by leaps and bounds..
But Charles and his wife of 67 years say it's still a great place to call home