In 1868, firearms manufacturer James Warner moved his family from Springfield, Massachusetts, to Manatee County, where he hoped to regain his health. He built a home on the shore of the Manatee River about half a mile east of this marker. The Warners were among the earliest northern families to settle in this area after the Civil War: Warner's Bayou bears their name. James Warner died about a year after his arrival, leaving his wife, Eleanor, and several children. In 1884, a son, Warburton S. Warner, founded a town, Palma Sola, on a portion of the family homestead. He promoted it as "the youngest and largest town in Florida made up largely of New England people, where no liquor is sold." The name "Palma Sola" commemorated a single tall date palm that dominated the skyline on Snead Island, directly across the river from McNeil Point. The central section of town, which consisted of a huge sawmill and the homes of the men who operated it, was located on the point. The town also boasted the two-story Palma Sola Hotel, a general store said to be the largest between Cedar Keys and Key West, a long wharf, and an ice house large enough to hold a schooner-load of New England pond ice. Large quantities of
pine and cypress lumber were shipped to New England, and the Palma Sola area also achieved some note as a shipping point for produce and livestock. Warburton Warner's hopes for Palma Sola were never completely fulfilled. He sought to sell land in an area extending from the Manatee River southward to Sarasota Bay, and from the range line starting at Shaw's Point, eastward to today's 34th Street, at prices ranging from five to twenty dollars per acre. Palma Sola grew and prospered for a time but began a gradual decline after the sawmill was destroyed by fire. Palma Sola's former central section is now a residential area. Warburton Warner's home, "Sans Terre," still stands on the shore of the Manatee River a short distance to the east, a reminder of Manatee County's pioneer days.