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Articles: Sarasota History

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Burns' Mark was Apparent Around Town

By: Ann A. Shank, former County Historian

Drawn by the excellent fishing opportunities, Owen Burns came from Chicago to vacation in Sarasota in the spring of 1910. Attracted by real estate development possibilities, he stayed and helped turn Sarasota from a small fishing village into a vibrant city.

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Burrow's Legacy Included Oscar Scherer State Park

By: Ann Shank, former Sarasota County Historian

In 1931, Waters and Elsa Burrows left New York City with their family and built a Colonial-style red brick home in Osprey, just a short distance south of the spot on Little Sarasota Bay where Bertha Palmer had established her winter home two decades earlier.

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Calvin N. Payne

By: Sarasota County History Center

Calvin and Martha Payne, winter residents from 1917 to 1926, were said to have given Sarasota the finest gift it ever received.    In 1925 they donated 60 acres of centrally located land, valued at $250,000, to be used for a public park. Located at East Avenue and Adams Lane, part of the land is used for a skateboard park today.  

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Camping on the Myakka

By: Ann A. Shank, former County Historian

The Myakka River area has attacted people to its scenic and fruitful reaches for centuries.

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Caples Saw Potential in a Fishing Village

By: Ann A. Shank, and Mark D. Smith

At the turn of the 20th Century, Sarasota was hardly a vacation tourist spot. It was still mainly a fishing village with unpaved streets, fish houses on the bay front, and a very small population.

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Casey Key is Filled with Architectural Delights

By: Lorrie Muldowney, former Manager and Preservationist, Sarasota County Historical Resources

The natural beauty of Casey Key has attracted the attention of visitors and residents to the Gulf Coast for many years. Casey Key's first non-native inhabitants were members of the Isaac Shumard family, originally from Missouri, who arrived around 1900. 

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CCC Transforms Tropical Jungle into State Park

By: George I. (Pete) Esthus

That is the headline on page 2 of the Sarasota Tribune on March 3, 1935. Articles written by Charlotte Townsend and William A. Cook detail a life of hard, back-breaking work balanced by feelings of satisfaction for a job well done.

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Cemetery Offers a Peek at the Past

By: Ann Shank, former Sarasota County Historian

Woodlawn Cemetery, located off 12th Street at the end of Gillespie Avenue in Sarasota, is the oldest recorded cemetery for African Americans in what is now Sarasota County.

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