Markers: Sarasota History
In 1900, south Florida was wild and unsettled. On the west coast of Florida, Ft. Myers could be reached from the north by steamer, and after 1904 by rail, but there was no land connection from there to the east coast. Discussion of a Ft. Myers to Miami road in 1915 expanded to talk of a Tampa to Miami road after E.P. Dickey of Tampa suggested the name Tamiami Trail.
Surveying and preliminary work began through alligator infested swamps with the help of Seminole guides. Work progressed slowly. Drilling machines often sank in the muck. Ox teams hauled dynamite that was used to loosen the limestone, which was used for the foundation of the roadway.
After 13 years, the Trail was completed. In Sarasota County the route followed earlier roads from Sarasota to Venice. South of Venice the Trail followed Old Englewood Road and Dearborn Street through Englewood. The official opening was celebrated on April 25, 1928, with the governor and his huge entourage traveling the length of the new road.
Shortly after, economic hard time arrived. Road planners eliminated the Englewood loop as unnecessary.