Here at Fuse Lenses, we have some BIG news! We’re launching our new Anna Maria frames! In honor of our newest launch, we thought we would tell you about the rich history (and a few fun facts!) of the island our frames are named after, Anna Maria Island.
Anna Maria Island is a seven-mile strip of land settled between the Gulf of Mexico and peninsular Florida. The island was first occupied by the Timucan and Caloosan American Indians who had inhabited it from as early as 1000 A.D. In 1539, the island was discovered by Hernando Desoto, who landed at Shaw’s Point in Bradenton. Following the discovery of the island, George Emerson Bean moved there, becoming the first permanent resident in 1892. Development of the island began quickly after in the 1900s by Bean and the Anna Maria Beach Company. Before the first bridges connecting the island to the mainland were built, the Pier and wharf were developed in 1911-1912 in order to have a place for ships to dock. Despite some remodeling throughout the years, the pier still remains similar to its original appearance from when it was built. In 1921, the first bridge, known as the Cortez Bridge, was built connecting the island to the mainland. Following this bridge, the Manatee Avenue Bridge was built in the 1950s, creating a second path to the mainland.
The town of Anna Maria bloomed during the 1900s and was founded by Charles Roser, the inventor of the Fig Newton. The town’s population at this time numbered around 1,800 residents and is surrounded by three beaches. Anna Maria was incorporated in 1950, which quickly made it the island’s largest community. Today, the city numbers 5,000 residents and has kept up to date to please its citizens with resorts, shopping areas, and condos.
- The island was originally named “Ana Maria Cay” by Hernando Desoto after the Virgin Mary and her mother, Ann.
- The pronunciation of the island’s name used to be different! Old-timers used to pronounce the name as “Anna Mar-EYE-a” instead of the common pronunciation of “Anna Mar-EE-a”.
- The beaches on the island are a popular spot for sea turtles to nest. In the months of May through October, you can find many turtles ashore nesting. On any given year, around 200 turtles will nest on Anna Maria Island, with most nests containing 60-100 eggs.
- The island houses many birds including pelicans, cranes, herons, parrots, hawks, seagulls, and a pair of bald eagles.
- Bottlenose dolphins can be found on the Intracoastal Waterway, the Gulf, and Bimini Bay.
- The combined total resident population on Anna Maria Island is 8,500 between the cities of Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, and Bradenton.
- The island has beaches where the powdery, white sand forms into quartz!
- The beach stretches more than 8 miles long.
- Anna Maria Island is approximately 3,000 years old!
- Bean Point, an area of the island that offers a 270-degree view of the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, was named after the first permanent resident of Anna Maria Island: George Emerson Bean.
We are so excited to present our new Anna Maria frames named after this beautiful island. Out of all the islands in the world, we chose Anna Maria because we love the story it tells. With its rich history and all of its beautiful features, we hope you grow to love it as well. Check out the New Anna Maria Frames and show the world what Anna Maria has to offer!