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Founders' Memorial


Historic Braden Castle Celebrates 90 Years in 2014

Back in 1924 a group of friends looking for a place to spend the winters discovered Braden Castle. They bought 27 acres and founded our unique community, with the Manatee River as a background. They called themselves “Camping Tourists of America.” And so it all began.

In the early 1930s on Castle Green (the lawn area just back of the big entrance sign), there was a lovely fountain with goldfish and lily pads. Over the years the goldfish were replaced with flowering plants. Then the whole thing fell into disrepair and became forgotten, disappearing from sight inside a large stand of ginger plants.

We have reclaimed and repaired the structure. Not as a goldfish pond or a fountain, but as a centerpiece for a Memorial to be dedicated to our Founders. The former fountain has been pressure washed, wire-brushed and painted. An angel figure has been placed on the top. The pool area has been cleaned out, the sides straightened, repaired and painted. It was filled with new soil and planted with flowering plants.

We created a brick surround for the central memorial with a brick walkway leading out to Braden Castle Drive. A large bronze plaque has been donated to commemorate the memory of our Founders. It was installed next to the central memorial.

March 2014 two hundred forty engraved bricks were installed as part of the new