Anna Maria Island
Beautiful Anna Maria Island Where Dreams Come True!
In 1892 George Emerson Bean became the first permanent
resident on the Island and homesteaded much of what is
now the City of Anna Maria. In the early 1900s, Bean
began to develop the Island with the Anna Maria Beach
Company, which laid out streets, built sidewalks and
houses and installed a water system.
During this time, John Roser built the first house
of worship, Roser Memorial Community Church, in memory
of his mother. Roser was the creator of the Fig
Newton, which he eventually sold to Nabisco Brands.
Roser Memorial Community Church still stands and
attends to the spiritual needs of Islanders.
Typical of the early buildings is the present Island
Playhouse, which was built on the mainland. It was
transported to the Island by barge and has served the
community during its long life as church, school,
social and city hall.
The Magnolia Avenue School was built in the early
1900s and has since been replaced with the Anna Maria
Island Elementary School, which is located in the City
of Holmes Beach. The present school draws students
from north Longboat Key as well as Anna Maria Island;
it has a student body Just under of 400 house in a new Multi-million dollar campus
For years the only way to the Island was by boat. It
was not until 1921 that Anna Maria was physically
connected to the mainland by a wooden bridge that
extended westward from the fishing village of Cortez
to the Island. The Bradenton Beach fishing pier is the
western end of that original bridge.
Throughout the developmental period of the Island,
local city governments have worked diligently to
preserve the heritage of This "Island In The Sun" – Anna