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Newsletter April 14, 2008

Published Monday, April 14, 2008

This Week

(photo credit: Sarasota County History Center)

In honor of National Library Week, Lee, your host is visiting the Chidsey building...as what Sarasotan's fondly remember as ‘the library.' It was built in 1941, and this is where every school kid went to do research, browse through the stacks, and find a good read. In fact, everyone went there frequently to utilize the facility and entertain themselves; well before television and computers were ubiquitous. Check out this week's webisode on the Chidsey, and find out how we finally got a modern library.

If you missed last week's video webisode on the Bidwell-Wood house, or want to browse through our video archive, click the link below to discover tales of our colorful past.

Video Archive »

Calendar Time

On our website’s homepage, there is a section called, On This Day in History; where interesting and whimsical musings of Sarasota’s past appear on a daily basis. J. Whitcomb Rylee gave Sarasota History Alive permission to use his imaginative calendar for your enjoyment, so check back frequently to see what happened here throughout the week.

Speaking of calendars, we would like your organization to submit upcoming historically-oriented events that would interest our audience, and we will post them on our calendar for everyone’s convenience. Simply go to the contact page, and then provide us with the details.


Sarasota News - History in the Making

Harriet Stieff - On Tuesday, April 8th, Harriet Stieff gave a talk for the membership meeting of the Historical Society of Sarasota County, at the Pines of Sarasota. She took her audience on a wonderful journey through historic Sarasota, and shared photos from her personal collection about life growing up here. Harriett is the youngest daughter of the early land developer, Owen Burns. Many in the audience learned a great deal about Sarasota from Mrs. Stieff,'s accounts that they were not previously aware of, from local history books.

As many of you know Mr. Burns came to Sarasota in 1910, and was a significant force in improving the area with sea walls, streets, sidewalks, and constructing the Ringling Causeway bridge, Burns Court, the Sarasota Times building, the El Vernona Hotel (a.k.a, John Ringling Towers), Burns Realty building (later, Karl Bickel's home), and much more.

Mrs. Stieff gave the audience a unique insight into to what it was like in Sarasota "back in the day." She also wished we all could have seen Sarasota when it was, "paradise."

The Historical Society of Sarasota County offers monthly lecture programs throughout the fall, winter and spring. If you would like to become a member, or obtain further information, please visit their website, www.hsosc.com, or call 924-5224.

Where Am I?

This week we are looking for your help. Back in the 1950s, the editor remembers this statue that was on the North Tamiami Trail (on the east side, between 42nd Street and 47th), It was about 6 feet high, and massive in circumference. Whenever his parents took him to the original Golden Buddha (now Primo's Restaurant), or they picked someone up at the old airport, he would look forward to passing the huge head on the way. One day it was gone! Someone lost their head, and we want to know where it went. If you have the answer to this mystery, please let the editor know. He would really appreciate it, and who knows, perhaps there is a historical story right here under that rather large nose.



(photo credit: Sarasota County History Center)