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Articles: Sarasota History

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Binz Fireproof Warehouse

The Binz family moved to Sarasota in 1925 and were active in the building trade as well as other commercial and civic activities in the area.

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Bird Key: The Jewel in Sarasota Bay

By: Mark D. Smith, former County Archivist

At the beginning of the last century, Bird Key was a small island in Sarasota Bay, rising only a few feet about the surrounding shallow grass flats. In 1911, Thomas Martin Worcester of Cincinnati began to build on the key by dredging a channel through the grass flats to his dock and using the dredged material as fill to raise the level of the land. Worcester built the first expensive home on any island in the Sarasota Bay region. It was named New Edzell Castle after the ancestral home, Edzell Castle of his wife, Davie Lindsay Worcester, of Scotland.

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Bisphams' Dairy Served Sarasotans for 65 Years

By: Lorrie Muldowney

When early Sarasotan Jackson F. Bispham was granted Sarasota County's second dairy permit in 1922, he used it to establish the Bayside Dairy. During the next 65 years, the business provided dairy products to the Sarasota community while operating in four different locations: North Orange Avenue, South Tamiami Trail, the Gulf Gate area and just south of Clark Road. The dairy was named Bayside after its Tamiami Trail location along Sarasota Bay.

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Black Settler Helped Sarasota Grow

By: Lorrie Muldowney, County Preservationist

Sarasota's first black settler was Lewis Colson. Colson came to Sarasota in 1884 to assist Richard E. Paulson, an engineer for the Florida Mortgage and Investment Company, in surveying the town of Sarasota.

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Bovine Battle Proved to be Tough

By: Ann A. Shank, former County Historian

Ninety-six years ago, Sarasota ceased to be an open town - open that is, to livestock roaming through town at will.

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Boy Scouting Came to Sarasota County in 1913

By: Ann A. Shank, former County Historian

Three years after the founding of the Boy Scouts of America, community leaders organized the first Sarasota troop in 1913.

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Breakfast and a Winter White House

By: Jeff La Hurd

Breakfast for John Ringling, as described by his nephew Henry Ringling North in The Circus Kings, was conducted as follows: Then the butler, Frank Tomlinson, entered carrying an enormous dish of fruit. Uncle John devastated it. I have seen him eat twelve king oranges and five grapefruits; or two pounds of Tokay grapes. Mangoes were the most fun. Nine was a fair average for him.

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Bridges Played a Role in Siesta Key Development

By: Lorrie Muldowny

The history of Sarasota is inextricably intertwined with the natural environment and efforts to shape the land to fit the needs of a growing community. Over a hundred years ago, before the construction of roads and bridges throughout the county, life here was very different. Siesta Key in particular was isolated and inaccessible. Big changes began on the key when Harry Higel began to promote his development, “Siesta On The Gulf.”

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