The Manatee River has always been the lifeblood of Palmetto. Samuel Lamb founded Palmetto in 1866. The city was chartered in 1887. The first postmaster, Joel Hendrix is considered the father of green vegetable shipping. He shipped tomatoes from Palmetto to northern markets. Mr. Hendrix determined how many days it would take to do that so he started picking his tomatoes before they were mature and wrap them in paper. By the time they got to the northern market, the tomatoes were red. The river is used more for recreation today. People fish boat and kayak. The river is always going to be an important part of the city’s livelihood here in Manatee County. Its population is between 12,500 and 15,000, depending on the time of the year.