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Markers: Sarasota History

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John Hamilton Gillespie

"The Father of Sarasota," John Hamilton Gillespie, was born in 1852 in Edinburgh, Scotland. He arrived here in 1886 to assist the failing Florida Mortgage and Investment Company, a development company partially owned by his father in Edinburgh.

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Joseph Daniel Anderson

After the Civil War, many Georgians moved their families to Southern Florida. Joseph Daniel "Jody" Anderson, born in Georgia in 1867, was a child when his father moved to the Tampa/Sara Sota area. In 1884, Joseph became the head of the Anderson family.

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Judah P. Benjamin

Judah P. Benjamin, later considered "the Brains of the Confederacy," was an American lawyer and statesman. He was born on Saint Croix Island in 1811, grew up in South Carolina, and was educated at Yale College.

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Knight Memorial

The original settlers of the area were Jesse and Rebecca Knight who came to the Venice area in 1868 with their children and 300 head of cattle. The Knight family settled south of Shakett Creek and north of this marker.

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Laurel Turpentine and Lumber

The naval stores industry provided employment for workers leaving the plantation system following the Civil War. Some laborers were leased by private companies from state or county prisons.

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Little Salt Spring

The waters of this unusual archeological and paleontological site have yielded preserved human skeletal remains and artifacts dating from 10,000 to 3000 B.C. Animal fossils have also been recovered, including species of extinct tortoise, sloth, elephant, and bison.

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Little White Church

In 1915, Bee Ridge, then part of Manatee County, supported a train station, post office, hotel, general store, and school. A second wave of settlers who moved into Bee Ridge desired a church in their community.

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One half mile south of this marker once stood a log structure where church services were held by circuit riding preachers. During the week the building was used as a school. William Rawls and A.M. "Gus" Wilson each donated land for what is now the church and cemetery.

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