(side 1)(Continued on other side)
The 1890 Bratton Store
In the 1890s, William C. Bratton built the first commercial building at Hunter's Point, the original name of the area eventually to be called Cortez. The building served as post office, general store and steamboat wharf and connected the village's fishing families with the outside world. In 1900, rooms were added creating an inn which became known at the Albion Inn. Expanded over time, the Albion Inn along with the 1912 Cortez Schoolhouse served as refuge for the displaced residents of the small village during the destructive 1921 hurricane. In 1974, the inn closed and the property was sold to the US Coast Guard. Community effort spearheaded by the Cortez Village Historical Society and the Organized Fisherman of Florida saved the store from demolition in 1991. It was moved to this site in 2006.
The 1912 Cortez Rural Graded Schoolhouse
(Continued from other side)
The Cortez Rural Graded Schoolhouse was constructed in 1912 as one of six schools built by Manatee County that year. It replaced an older one room structure that still stands in the village. Originally three classrooms, in 1933, under a Federal Works Progress Administration program, the middle classroom was extended into an auditorium
with stage forming a T-shaped floor plan. It was used as a school until 1961, when it was leased to an art school. it was ultimately sold to Robert Sailors, a master weaver, who made the building his home and studio. In 1999, Manatee County purchased the property and carefully restored the building. In 2006, it was reopened as a museum and community center. The Cortez Schoolhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Cortez Historic District.