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Norma Ziegler Freeman House

Buildings: Sarasota History

Source: City of Sarasota public records
Credit: Sarasota History Alive
Location: 1243 16th Street, Sarasota, FL

Sarasota History - Norma Ziegler Freeman House photo

The Norma Ziegler Freeman House is single family Craftsman Style Bungalow residential structure located in Valencia Terrace Subdivision at 1243 16th Street. The house was completed in early 1930. The house is historically significant for its architecture being an excellent and well-preserved example of its style.


During the 1920s, numerous subdivisions were platted throughout an expanding Sarasota city limits. One of these subdivisions was Valencia Terrace.

Valencia Terrace was platted in March of 1924 by the First National Co., as Trustee. The subdivision consisted of 10 blocks, lettered A-K. Each block was divided into 22 lots in each block. Deed restrictions for the subdivision were recorded in the public records.

On July 7, 1924, the plat was revised by the F.C.L. Realty Corporation. A.B. Cheney served as President. Other principals in the firm were Ed and Michael Roth, W. McGeorge Mason and local active and prominent builder. Thomas or T.W. Crisp.


The 1930 Sarasota City Directory indicates that the house was vacant but, by 1932, Norma Ziegler Freeman, formerly Mrs. Ernest Freeman, was occupying the house as a tenant with her son and daughter. Mrs. Freeman's daughter, Mary Sue Freeman Dean, related that she recalled that house had been for sale at the time she and her mother and brother moved into the house. She was part of a family that took in active role in the Sarasota community. She was the daughter of F.C. Ziegler, a native of Wilmington, Ohio. He and his wife later moved to Georgetown, Ohio for a few years, where he operated a mercantile business until 1890. His daughter, Norma, and her brother Floyd, were born in Georgetown. A few years later, the elder Ziegler became employed by the International Harvester Company for over 30 years which resulted in him traveling south and into Florida. In 1920, he moved to Sarasota, first settling in Bee Ridge where he owned a citrus grove. In 1926, he went to Englewood. He served as one of Sarasota County's first commissioners.

Norma Ziegler's brother, Floyd C. Ziegler, as was her father, was also a prominent early Sarasota resident. Her brother came to Sarasota sometime between 1918 and 1920. In 1924, he was elected to the Sarasota County Commission, serving until 1930, before his father's term. He then became the Sarasota County agent for the Standard Oil Company, a position he held for many years. He was dedicated to civic affairs, serving as a director of the Chamber of Commerce, the Hospital Board, and on the advisory committee of the Salvation Army. In 1940, he was appointed as a member of the selective service board for Sarasota County and served as chairman throughout the war and after the end of the war.

Norma Freeman met her husband Ernest Freeman of North Carolina in Ohio. She worked as a nurse for Mr. Freeman's first wife before her passing. Following their marriage, they moved to Tampa where her husband was a hay grain processing operator. She and her husband were later divorced. In 1930, with her former husband staying behind in Tampa, she first came with her children to stay with her father in Englewood before moving into the subject residence. Norma Ziegler herself became active in service to her community. She served as a volunteer with the American Red Cross for 16 years and was a "hostess" at the John Ringling residence for many years. During the Depression years, she baked bread for the Woman's Exchange. In 1940, the Sarasota City Directory indicates that a Mrs. Clark, a music teacher, was living in the house with Mrs. Freeman. Norma Freeman continued to occupy the house until about 1944.

The Norma Ziegler Freeman House was locally designated by the City of Sarasota in 2001.