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Articles: Sarasota History

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As Area Grew, so did St. Martha Catholic Church

By: Ann Shank, former Sarasota County Historian

St. Martha Catholic Church began as one of a number of mission outposts served by Jesuit priests from Tampa, who had initially celebrated Mass in the homes of church members.

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As Others See Us

By: Gilbert Leach

When you wander around in Manatee County, every spot you visit is so inviting you think that is the place you want to stay. Especially this is true of Sarasota. Pleasantly located at the Halton, conducted by the genial Dr. Jack Halton, with the breezes from Sarasota Bay blowing in during the evening, with fishing grounds nearby where the fish simply jump up and grab the sinker off the line if the fisherman gets negligent; with Siesta over on the point, and other bathing beaches handy, it is an ideal spot for recreation, and it is small wonder that winter visitors throng into Sarasota and fill it beyond its capacity.

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Atlantic Coastline Railway Remembered

By: Ann Shank, former County Historian

The first Atlantic Coast Line passenger train pulled into Sarasota in 1925. With Pullman cars on four trains, two each from Boston and Chicago, the ACL was the second successful railroad to lay tracks into Sarasota. The Seaboard Air Line Railway was the first with tracks along Lemon Avenue, a passenger station at Main Street and freight depot at (now) First Street.

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Attorney John Burket Helped Develop Sarasota

By: Mark Smith, former Sarasota County Archivist

Sarasota in the 1910s was a small town with potential. Investors were beginning to look into the area and residents were bringing friends and associates to visit. One such person being lured to the area was attorney John F. Burket.

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Auditorium Transformed Downtown Area

By: Ann Shank, former County Historian

In the early 1920s, Sarasota was poised for the beginning of the great Florida land boom. The city was looking for someone to build a first class hotel so they could compete with other cities in Florida. In early 1922 Andrew McAnsh appeared on the scene and went about changing the look of downtown Sarasota.

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Aviation Interest Took Off With Landing

By: Mark D. Smith, former Sarasota County Archivist

When pilot Tony Jannus flew a Benoist Aircraft Company “airboat” into Sarasota in April 1914, Sarasota's fascination with flight began.

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Avondale Heights Subdivision

The Sarasota Times headline, January 7, 1915 - New Subdivision for Building Homes -"With the view to aiding in the future development of the suburban district of Sarasota, the Sarasota Improvement Company has just announced the sale of valuable land in what is known as Avondale Heights Addition, and which promises to become one of the most attractive subdivisions around Sarasota."

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Baseball Legend Ted Williams' Time in Sarasota

By: Ann A. Shank, former County Historian

From the time Ted Williams drove up to the Sarasota Terrace Hotel in "an old jalopy" as a Boston Red Sox rookie, until the Sox concluded their spring training games in Sarasota, Williams was a popular subject in the local press and community.

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