Videos: Sarasota History
In 1882 this "handsome residence" was under construction for Alfred and Mary Bidwell on land Mary purchased from the State of Florida for one dollar an acre. Before construction the Bidwell's apparently occupied the detached kitchen-dining room with a sleeping loft. This home later stood in an area which later became part of the city. Sarasota was then in vast Manatee County, which extended from the Gulf of Mexico to Lake Okeechobee and from the Manatee River to Charlotte Harbor. Bidwell, a native of Buffalo, N.Y., had his store 1 ½ miles away at the bay on a sandy main street, now named Cunliff Lane.