Get Social With Us

like watch follow


Receive Email Updates

Sign up today and receive our newsletter and more directly to your inbox.


Search Sarasota History

contact us follow us newsletter sign up search this site

Newsletter September 3, 2014

Published Wednesday, September 3, 2014
by Editor

Drive By Gem

Once again, I was drawn to the Vamo area, since there is an alcove of wonderful historic homes to see. Many of them were built in the 1920s and I always enjoy that style’s romantic lure. If you get down that way, be sure and have a look for yourself.


Frank Lloyd Wright Masterpieces

Please join the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation as they present a special evening lecture on the architectural masterpieces of Frank Lloyd Wright at Florida Southern College, located in Lakeland, Florida.  This site is the largest assembly of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in the world. Envisioning buildings rising “out the ground, and into the light, a child of the Sun” Frank Lloyd Wright designed a master plan that would become his largest project of his career that is still intact.  Mr. Mark R. Tlachac comes to us from Florida Southern College, with a program that will enlighten the audience with imagery and information of these priceless structures and about the future restoration plans of this national treasure.

As an additional bonus, at 6:00 p.m. the Ringling College of Art and Design will open the “Keating Center” for a reception. Officials from the Ringling College will explain about some of their new and exciting projects that are underway. The lecture is at 7:00 p.m. at the Academic Center Auditorium.

Parking is provided on the Ringling campus: please follow the SPECIAL EVENT parking signs to Selby Gallery West Parking Lot and the Christ-Janer East Parking lot.

Only 200 seats are available for this exciting presentation so place your order today. Please purchase your tickets in advance by check for $15.00 or $20.00 at the door. Make checks payable to: Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation, P.O. Box 1754, Sarasota, Florida 34230

Just Jane

It’s very reassuring to know that we are providing a much needed service to Vintage Home hunters, here on our Web site, especially when friends, neighbors and yes, Realtors call or email me to exhort us to list a home near them, that they want saved.

For instance, the long, narrow home on Bahia Vista Street that, as the story goes, used to serve as a boarding house back in the 1930s. I’m told there’s not even a sign in front of it yet, but the neighbors are worrying already that it might disappear along with the home next door, on the corner of Pomelo, which I’ve been trying to have sold for $1.00 and moved for a mere $60,000.

“West of the Trail” has a kind of rodeo ring to it, but it just a really HOT neighborhood right now, and if you’re thinking of relocating there, you’d better move fast.
Let’s all keep a keen eye on S. Palm Avenue too, and make sure none of our really historic facades, which make it such a beautiful street, disappear.

September can only mean one thing…SEASON will soon be upon us, so hurry up and go visit your favorite local restaurants, before all the Snowbirds flock back here.

We spent our Labor Day weekend laboring, washing windows, trimming hedges, changing curtains and bedroom decor, getting ready for our welcome mat to be ruffed up. Poor John is ready to go back to the office and rest! It was actually nice, to realize when we arrived at Cosco on Monday that they were closed. Congratulations folks for giving your laborers the day off.

Please keep spreading the word and call or email me, if you see a home that you feel should be included in our Vintage Real Estate listings at sarasota.history@comcast.net  I’m NOT a Realtor, I just love old homes!


Pretty as a Picture


These lovelies just finished a set of tennis at the McClellan Park Clubhouse. I guess sailor outfits were the fashion of the day on the court. The clubhouse was the center of activity back in the early 1900s and many events took place there; tennis was only one of them.

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Postcard of the Week

This postcard is not from Sarasota, but I found it delightful. It says, “Is there soup on the bill of fare?” Waiter – “No sir. There was, but I wiped it off.” And, here I thought it was going to be a fly in my soup joke.

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Joe Cash - Sarasota Local Hero

1937 - 1967

A remembrance by Jean Cash Schwied, Joe Cash's younger sister.

In the 1950’s a Sarasota boy was emerging as a local hero who made it big in the young sport of water skiing.  Joe Cash, oldest son of James and Clara Cash who owned J.C. Cash Jewelry Store on Main Street, didn’t try water skiing until he was 17 and by the time he was 20 he was the World Champion.

He was born George Joseph Cash, May 25, 1937 in Shelbyville TN. The Cash family moved to Sarasota in 1946 seeking a better climate for Joe who suffered from asthma. The Cash family was always on the water; fishing, skiing, racing speed boats. Joe graduated from Sarasota High School in 1955 having participated in the swim team and Sailor Circus where he met his future wife, Ida Mae Messer. They were married shortly after high school and Joe’s first job was at Sunshine Springs and Gardens.  

Later, Joe was a principal skier at Cypress Gardens where his skiing career progressed. He set records in all three disciplines; slalom, tricks and jumping. In 1957 he won Slalom and the Overall title in the World Championships at Cypress Gardens. Other major titles included the National Jumping title in 1957 and 1958, where he set record jumps of 126 feet and then 129 feet. In 1959 he broke the jumping record again increasing it to 132 feet and won the coveted Masters Overall trophy at Calloway Gardens, GA.  Later that year he raised the mark to 136 feet and then increased the record to 142 feet in Fort Myers, FL. He became known as “Jumping Joe Cash” for shattering the jumping records and bringing home the trophies.

In 1958 Joe was the first in the world to barefoot ski from a deep water start.  He had a strong local presence, people could watch him perform in ski shows with the Ski-A-Rees, or they could learn to ski in Sarasota Bay with the World Champion! He was honored as Sportsman of the Year by the local Sportsman Club, and he and Ida Mae were crowned King and Queen Neptune in the 1962 Frolics. At the peak of his career he was hired by Mercury Outboard Motors as a spokesperson and a member of the test race team. He also appeared on the Gary Moore Show and What’s My Line? Hedlund skis produced the Joe Cash Slalom and he even did a TV commercial for Oasis Cigarettes which can still be found on YouTube today.  Read more...

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources, Cash Family Collection)

Yesterday's Sarasota Calendar

Today, in 1937, at the cost of $16,980 ($28.30 per acre) the city purchased 600 acres of land on which to build a modern airport. The Sarasota-Bradenton Airport started its 77 year history with dirt runways and service from one airline. Some years later, after service was discontinued, the land was used for an Army base. It was returned to civilian use shortly after the war. (In this 1958 photo above, the main terminal is being constructed next to the old barracks that were the original terminal facilities).

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Where am I?

The winner of our last contest was Pam McLeod. Congratulations!

Okay, I know this young woman looks strange sitting in a waterless garden fountain, but by the time this photo was taken, my accompanying mansion was sitting empty and waiting for a new owner. There were big plans for me, but the new occupant died before he could seal the deal. Your task is to tell where this fountain was located; the name of my mansion, or the island will do. Where am I?

Click here to submit your answer, as well as view the correct answer to the last challenge.

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Your award this week is the book, John Hamilton Gillespie - The Scot Who Saved Sarasota by Jeff LaHurd. The Friend's of the Sarasota County History Center generously provided this prize. Please consider becoming a member of the Friends; they have some exciting programs coming up soon. Visit them here.

If you would like to be a sponsor of our "Where Am I?" quiz, please call us at (941) 951-7727. It only cost $25 per week for us to set up your ad, and then you only have to provide a prize for the winner. What could be easier?

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Ain't Life Grand?

Well, girls…I’m sure you’re just taking aim in jest, but watch out for the young man behind the cannon. Is he planning on lighting the fuse? I get a bang out of old photos. (Geeze, Larry, you can do better than that!)

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)



This brochure is from the Avery Motor Cultivator, a manufacturer in Peoria, Illinois. It is contained in Bertha Palmer’s collection housed at Sarasota County Historical Resources. She was very interested in experimental farming here in Sarasota, and did plenty of research about crops, seeds, and equipment. What a remarkable lady for her time.

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


SarasotaMOD Week(end)

The Sarasota Architectural Foundation
hosts the “SarasotaMod Week[end]”
on October 9-12, 2014, here in Sarasota.

This four-day festival celebrates Sarasota’s iconic mid-century architecture
with guided tours, social gatherings and presentations by prominent architects, authors, critics and designers, including Carl Abbott, Alastair Gordon, John Howey, Raymond Jungles, and Lawrence Scarpa.

Guided trolley, boat and walking tours will explore Sarasota’s mid-century legacy by land and sea. Many of the festival’s events will take place in acclaimed modernist structures. Festival participants will experience not only Sarasota’s architectural jewels but also the subtropical setting for those jewels.

For more information about the festival, please visit www.sarasotamod.com.