Thanks to the History Committee who worked hard to bring this compilation of history together. Beryl Silvernale, Chairperson; Julie Sipior, Researcher; Rita Knierim, Author; Nancy McWatters, Secretary; MiMi Sackett, Board Liaison; and Project Photographers Richard and Carmella Castilione.
The Village on the Greens, an oasis surrounded by a city, 624 shareholder and rental homes comprise this gem formerly known as El Rancho Village in Bradenton, Florida. Little remains of the former 85-acre orange grove. Those of us who call the Village home enjoy the camaraderie and friendliness of our neighbors. Amenities abound and many clubs potlucks, regional dinners, and games are available for residents’ enjoyment.
How It All Started
Mr. and Mrs. R.A. Bradley purchased this large acreage of land in 1951 from Ray K. and Jane Van Camp. The Van Camps owned the property from 1940 which they developed as a citrus grove until the sale to the Bradleys in 1951. The Bradleys sold oranges and grapefruit from their groves on Cortez Road. Mr. Bradley spoke Spanish so the couple decided to start a mobile home park on the property in 1954, and the park was named El Rancho Village comprised of 24 units. After the lighting and paved street updates, the village grew rapidly. It was the first mobile home park to have its own sewer system. By 1958 there were 224 units in the park.
In April 1958 the Bradleys sold El Rancho Mobile Village to George McKenny conglomerate. The same year Highway 301 was established. Mr. Bradley did retain an additional property which remained in the Bradley family until 1999 when it was sold to the Moose Lodge.
According to the warranty deed of 1960, El Rancho was approximately 65 acres and in 1961 an additional ten acres were purchased which probably today is Ranchero Circle and Ranchero Drive.
In 1968 El Ranchero Village was sold to Jean, William, and Howard Seider, Jr. and Patricia Tyler. Improvements were made throughout the park with a small building constructed as a bank and a barbershop was built on the corner. In 1982 the residents incorporated legally becoming a Homeowners Association (HOA). In 1986 the HOA filed papers with the State of Florida giving them the first right of purchase who the owners chose to divest the property.
In March 1998 the park leadership was informed that the owners of the park had received an offer for purchase that they could not decline. The residents had to come up with the sum of money that had been offered to the Seiders with 45 days to exercise their right to purchase. Decisions had to be made, shares had to be sold and a plan put into place. All this was with the oversight of Bob Recker, President of the Board of Directors, at that time. In May 1998 the El Rancho Partners sold the property to El Rancho Residents Association. They then formed the corporation, El Rancho Village, Inc., and applied for and received the approval to form a cooperative.
In 2011 consideration was given to changing the name of El Rancho Village. Later in 2011 El Rancho Village became known as Village on the Greens.