Thanks to a group of historically minded volunteers, you can take a walk through Holmes Beach and learn about its history.
Members of the Anna Maria Island Historical Society have produced a walking tour of historic sites and landmarks in Holmes Beach’s history, and it hit stores across the island July 6.
The new brochure explores the city’s history, beginning with its origins as Cobb’s Corner, so named for Sam Cobb, the first homesteader in the area.
It provides a guided walking tour for key sites, such as the old city hall location on Marina Drive, along with pictures of what was once there and descriptions.
The brochure also provides travel distances whether walking, biking or riding the Anna Maria Island Trolley.
“We researched all the historic site information in our museum and we did a lot of research in local libraries,” AMIHS president Lynn Burnett said about the process used to put together the brochure.
“Anywhere we could go and pull documents, that’s how we started gathering the information,” she said.
“It took time to gather authentic photographs. We compiled it into a notebook with facts and photos and, from there, we decided what would be the most interesting,” Burnett said.
AMIHS recruited Bell Graphics in Cortez to design the pamphlet and local businesses to cover printing costs.
Burnett said the historical society printed 2,600 copies of the brochure.
The brochure has been in the works since January 2016, Burnett said. That’s when AMIHS submitted a proposal for the brochure to the Anna Maria Island Chamber of Commerce and were approved for funding. In May 2016, AMIHS began research for the brochure.
The brochure is not the first, nor will it be the last, Burnett said. The historical society released an Anna Maria walking tour brochure in October 2015.
In addition, University of Florida master’s student Lauren O’Neill is spending the month researching historical sites in Bradenton Beach for her master’s project, as well as a new brochure.
“She’s really working diligently on doing this piece of the research for us, it’s time consuming,” Burnett said. “All of this is done on volunteer time, which is phenomenal in itself.”
Not all the information AMIHS found was included in the brochure, Burnett said. People who want to learn more about Holmes Beach can visit the AMIHS website at amihs.org.
The brochure will “really give you a sense of what used to be there,” Burnett promised.
Pick up a copy at the chamber, 5313 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, the Anna Maria Island Historical Society, 402 Pine Ave., Anna Maria, and business locations throughout Holmes Beach.
For information on the historical society, call 941-778-0492.