Latitude / Longitude:
Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
The Judah P. Benjamin Confederate Memorial at Gamble Plantation Historic State Park, also known as the Gamble Mansion or Gamble Plantation, is a Florida State Park which is home to the Florida Division United Daughters of the Confederacy (“UDC”), located in Ellenton, Florida, on 37th Avenue East and US 301. It consists of the antebellum mansion developed by its first owner, Major Robert Gamble; a 40,000-gallon cistern to provide the household with fresh water; and 16 acres (65,000 m2) of the former sugarcane slave labor camp or plantation. At its peak, the plantation included 3,500 acres, and Gamble likely held more than 200 slaves to work the property and process the sugarcane.
The mansion was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Robert Gamble House on August 12, 1970. Its columns and two-foot-thick walls are constructed of tabby, a regional material developed as a substitute for brick. The park also includes the restored wood-frame, two-story, Victorian-style Patten House, built in 1872 for owner George Patten. In 1925, the mansion and grounds were purchased by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) and donated to the state as a memorial to Judah P. Benjamin, who served in three Cabinet positions under Confederate President Jefferson Davis during the American Civil War. He stayed at the plantation in May 1865, before escaping Union forces and sailing to England, where he had a second career.
In 2002, the State of Florida acquired the property which holds the ruins of the plantation’s sugar mill, one of the South’s largest, and added it to the historic park complex. On April 18, 2012, the AIA’s Florida Chapter placed the Gamble Mansion on its list, Florida Architecture: 100 Years. 100 Places. The park is open from 8am to sundown, 365 days per year, and guided tours of Gamble Mansion are available.
The Gamble Mansion serves as home to the Florida Division United Daughters of the Confederacy (“UDC”). In 1937, the UDC installed a memorial plaque to Benjamin at the mansion. Also on the grounds is the Confederate Veterans Memorial Monument, erected October 10, 1937.