Dr. Joseph Addison Braden, graduate physician, native of Virginia, came from Tallahassee to Manatee River in 1843 and acquired about 1100 acres of land; built a sugar mill about 2 1/2 miles south of Manatee. With materials at hand he constructed, mostly with slave labor, his "Castle", a large 2 ½-story building-four large rooms, spacious halls and four large chimneys, eight fireplaces. Walls were made of "taby" composed of lime, sand, crushed oyster and clam shells and water: this material molded into large bricks. The wood used was obtained from the property-oak, hickory, and pine. Windows and doors came from Mobile. When Union soldiers destroyed his sugar mill and his slaves were freed he abandoned the property. It was Feb. 25, 1856 that a party of seven Indians came to the Castle and fired on it, but Dr. Braden returned the fire with Major Gamble's new repeating rifle, wounding one Indian. They fled to their boat. Ultimately they were all captured. In 1866 Gen. James G. Cooper obtained the Braden property and lived in the Castle until his death. He built the cupola from which an excellent view was obtained. The Castle was destroyed by a woods fire in the summer of 1903, only the walls were left standing. It was sold to camping Tourists of America in 1924 by Gen. Cooper's grandson, J.J. Pelot.
1845 Building Began; 1851 Building completed; 1856 Attacked by seven Indians; 1864 Building abandoned; 1866 Building purchased by Gen.Cooper; 1880 Building again abandoned; 1903 Burned by woods fire; 1924 Sold to Camp Tourists