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Markers: Sarasota History

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Venice Horse and Chaise

Originally known as "Horse and Chaise", early settlers renamed this area Venice in 1888 in recognition of the many natural waterways which abound here. As a city, Venice became a reality when the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) came here in 1925 and began to build a planned retirement community for it's members.

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Venice Train Depot

The first successful railroad into what is now Sarasota County came when a the United States and West Indies Railroad and Steamship Company, a subsidiary of the Seaboard Air Line Railway (SAL), brought its first train into Sarasota in 1903. Two years later the tracks were extended to Fruitville.

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Whitaker Family History

William Henry Whitaker arrived in Sarasota Bay in the early 1840s. He built a cedar log cabin at “Yellow Bluffs,” part of nearly 200 acres he would acquire along the bay between Hog Creek and today's Indian Beach Road. Initially a fisherman, Whitaker later added cattle and a citrus grove to his homestead.

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Wilson Family and Home

The Wilson House is significant as an example of early Sarasota architecture and as the home and medical office of C.B. Wilson.

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Winter Quarters

Just east of this marker was the Winter Quarters of the Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus, a favorite winter attraction for tourists. Occupying what was previously the County Fair Grounds, the show spread over many acres with it's "Big Top", menageries, practice rings, workshops and railroad yards.

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Yellow Bluffs

This area, so named for its outcroppings of yellow limestone, was the home of Sarasota's first inhabitants - the prehistoric and Calusa Indians. Yellow Bluffs later became the homesite of William H. Whitaker, Sarasota's first known white settler.

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