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Articles: Sarasota History

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Cora Heywood Embarked on a Health Campaign

By: Ann Shank, former County Historian

In the spring of 1921, several months before Sarasota County was formed, the local Red Cross chapter sponsored Cora Heywood as a public health nurse to focus on the health of children in the southern part of Manatee County. She had graduated from the nursing school at Heywood Hospital in Gardner, Massachusetts, in 1911, and was sent to Sarasota by the Red Cross headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.


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Creation of the Judah P. Benjamin Marker

By: Mark D. Smith

The battles of the Civil War did not invade Sarasota but they did greatly affect the few residents that were here in the Sarasota-Manatee area. Supplies were hard to get due to federal ships patrolling the coastline. Union troops would occasionally come ashore to look for supplies and would burn homes and crops. Cattle had to be hidden or it would be taken by the Union troops.

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Czecho-Slovakian Band Played Significant Role

By: Ann Shank, former Sarasota County Historian

On opening day, February 7, 1926, the Czecho-Slovakian National Band played for the crowds that crossed the new causeway to view the John Ringling Estates on St. Armand’s Key. Daily performances from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. entertained  those whom John Ringling hoped would purchase lots and homes in his development on the keys.

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Dr. Albee Established a Private Hospital

By: Mark D. Smith

Dr. Fred Albee opened his Florida Medical Center on November 15, 1933, in the former Park View Hotel in Venice. It was called the Florida Medical Center)

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Dredging Altered the Landscape of Sarasota

By: Ann A. Shank

The dredge, in years past, was a major instrument of change. Not hampered by today's regulations, the dredge created islands, opened canals, and altered shorelines past recognition.

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Eagle Point

By: Pat Moberg

Eagle Point Club is now a gated community with luxury homes on Roberts Bay.  Almost 100 years ago this land was owned by Bertha Palmer, the multi-millionaire widow of Potter Palmer who, among many other enterprises, built and owned the famous Palmer House Hotel in Chicago.

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Earl Burnell - From Undertaker to Famous Photographer

By: Doris Davis

I am really thrilled to be asked to give a recording of my life history. Of course, what I have to tell is very interesting to me; I can't see why it would be interesting to others. My life has been filled with thrills. I have had people tell me that life had no thrills. To me life without thrills would be very drab indeed.

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Early Power for Sarasota Unreliable & Inconsistent

By: Ann A. Shank, former County Historian

When the Florida Power and Light plant at Payne Terminal (shown above) went on line in January 1946, the supply of electrical power to the residents of Sarasota was in stark contrast to that of the early years.

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