A Place We Call Home: Snead Island

Snead Island is located on the north side of the Manatee River, where it runs into the gulf.

"There were Indians that lived there for many thousands of years. There were Indian mounds there and then later on the early settlers decided to build their houses on what was left over Indian mounds."

In fact, we owe a lot to those Indian mounds.

"There is a legend that goes around hurricane season is the reason Manatee County doesn't have many hurricanes that come here and give us a direct hit is because an Indian buried a talisman there on Emerson Point and that talisman protects us."

The island is named after Edward Snead who homesteaded there in 1843.

"He got 128 acres from the federal government free. Later, he was joined by the Emerson family who homesteaded the western part of the island."

And that's how Emerson point got it's name. Other settlers soon arrived; fishermen, boat builders and farmers."

"It's a great place to call home because it's just typical Florida particularly and undeveloped Florida not like the subdivision that came in the 1940s and 50s. Its a little rural a little under developed."

Today there are a few subdivisions but most of the people who live there have large parcels of land. About half the 700 acre island is taken over by the Emerson Point Preserve.

" Manatee county has done a really great job of keeping the island protected. There were going to be condos placed there in the 80s and 90s but there was a bust in the real estate boom and the county was able to purchase the land at an auction."

And the county turned it into a nature preserve open to the public.

Also on Snead Island, the Bradenton Yacht club.The Snead Island boat works built in 1900 is still in operation. There are no stores. You still have to go to the main land to buy groceries, but that doesn't seem to bother residents at all.

"There are a lot of families who live out there, they really prize having a lot of land and being able to live next to the water."