city, seat (1903) of Manatee county, west-central Florida, U.S. It lies on the south bank of the Manatee River near its mouth at Tampa Bay, about 10 miles (15 km) north of Sarasota. The explorer Hernando de Soto landed nearby, probably at Shaw's Point, in 1539 (an event commemorated by a national memorial). Founded in the 1840s, the city was named for an early settler, Joseph Braden, who planted sugar and built a "castle" there in 1854, remnants of which survive. The community developed as a winter resort and shipping centre for farm produce (citrus and winter vegetables) and was incorporated in 1903. In 1947 it merged with Manatee (founded 1842), its neighbour to the east, to form the city of Bradenton.
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