Terra Ceia, Florida

Terra Ceia is an unincorporated community in Manatee County, Florida, United States that includes the 1,932 acres (7.82 km2) Terra Ceia Preserve.[4] It is located on Terra Ceia Island on the Southern shore of Tampa Bay near the intersection of US 19 and I-275, at the southern end of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

Terra Ceia, Florida
United Methodist Church in Terra Ceia
Terra Ceia
Location in Manatee County and the state of Florida
Coordinates: 27°34′45″N 82°34′50″W[1]
CountryUnited States
3 ft (0.9 m)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
  Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
Area code(s)941
FIPS code12-71550[2]
GNIS feature ID292127[3]


The community is part of the BradentonSarasotaVenice Metropolitan Statistical Area. The 1,932-acre (7.82 km2) Terra Ceia Preserve is also located in the area and protected by the Southwest Florida Water Management District and Florida Department of Environmental Protection. It offers fishing and hiking.[5]


Origins and boom period

Terra Ceia was originally settled by Joseph Atzeroth, Julia and their daughter Eliza in 1853 of Germany who were trying to escape political turmoil. Terra Ceia was known for its rich soil on the island, and at one time was known internationally. Some of the food was featured in William Taft's inaugural parade. In 1897 the town was listed with a population of 120 homeowners. The town's main commercial district developed along Terra Ceia Bay when most shipping was on the water with businesses and homes lining a waterfront street with many a business being built on docks for easy access. The commercial district shifted when the railroad arrived in the early 1900s and its center moved more inland. The coming of the railroad most likely resulted in a spike of population and by 1913 the local newspaper reported there were 700 residents. At the town's peak, there was a general store, bank, packing house, and railroad depot.

Mid 1920s and Great Depression decline

In 1926, had a storm surge washed over the island and made it hard to grow crops there. The Seaboard Airline railroad soon no longer provided service and the rail line and the depot was abandoned. The Great Depression caused the Bank of Terra Ceia to fail in 1931. The former bank building currently houses a post office, which has been operating since 1891.[6][7][8][9]


  1. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  2. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  3. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  4. Terra Ceia State Park Southwest Florida Water Management District
  5. Terra Ceia Preserve - Frog Creek Southwest Florida Water Management District
  6. "Manatee History Matters: Terra Ceia island was Heavenly Land for produce". Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  7. "FPHSonline.com". www.fphsonline.com. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  8. "Sunday Favorites: The History of Terra Ceia Island, Part 2". thebradentontimes.com. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  9. "Sunday Favorites: The History of Terra Ceia Island Part 3". thebradentontimes.com. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
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