Anna Maria Island is a quaint Barrier Island nestled in the Gulf of Mexico. Beautiful turquoise waters and white sandy beaches are the main attraction here. It is a place where “old” Florida charm can still be found, flip flops are a way of life and the speed limit never exceeds 35mph. High rise condos and fast food restaurants are pleasantly absent from our pristine “get away from it all” island.
The island was originally used for hunting and fishing by various Indian tribes and the only way on and off the island was by boat. Anna Maria Island was discovered by the local Timucan and Caloosan American Indian tribes and then by Spanish explorers (including Hernando DeSoto) in the name of the Spanish Crown.
In 1892 George Emerson Bean became the first permanent resident on the Island, followed by John Roser. Bean settled on the northern tip of the island, now known as Bean Point. It was Bean, his son Will along with Charles Roser who developed the area by adding streets, a water system and homes. Shortly after came a school and churches which lead to the beginning of an island community. A jail was built in 1927 for the drunk and disorderly visitors which is still standing today on Pine Avenue without a roof due to a fire in the 1940’s. Mr. Bean 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.