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Newsletter January 21, 2015

Published Wednesday, January 21, 2015
by Larry Kelleher

Good News at SHS

Your editor stopped by the Sarasota High School "Old Building" on Monday to see first-hand what was happening with the restoration of the 1926 Collegiate-Gothic structure. Though he couldn't enter the 'hard hat' area, the work being done was visible from outside the chain-link fencing.

After a conversation with the construction site manager, he was assured that within a couple of months we will be able to see a lot of progress with cleaning and re-grouting the countless thousands of bricks. Stay tuned...

Drive By Gem

Ah, the bougainvillea vine is in bloom and though it is winter, things are looking good at this picturesque 'West of the Trail' home. If you look close you can see a sign on the fence gate that says, “Fresh Eggs” and who can resist a classic weather vane to boot.

Just Jane

If you’re still in your PJ’s hurry up, get dressed and head over to the Historical Society of Sarasota County with your brown bag lunch, to hear Charles Sobczak’s fun and informative lecture about his best seller, “The Living Gulf Coast.”

We agree with the critics, that this is one of the best guide books to the Southwest Coast of Florida, covering the unique waters, land and wildlife of Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, Lee and Sarasota counties.

Charlie’s talk begins at 11:30 a.m. today at the HSOSC in Pioneer Park (1260 12th Street, between N. Trail and Cocoanut Avenue). Free for members of the Historical Society, $5.00 for guests. Bring your picnic lunch, and drinks will be provided on the back porch of the historic Bidwell-Wood House. Charlie will happy to autograph his book, which will be for sale after his talk.

If you’re in a quandary about where to take your ‘Snow Bird’ guests, a two-hour narrated trolley tour of historic Sarasota, led by Sarasota native, Sue Blue is a great idea. Her next tour is Saturday January 24, 2015. The trolley leaves from the HSOSC parking lot at 10:00 a.m. Cost - $25.00 per person; for more information call, 941-364-9076.

Pretty as a Picture

This is a serene view of lower Main Street in downtown Sarasota, ca.1930s leading into the Hover Arcade where City Hall was located at one time. The building on the left was a dress shop where many fashionable ladies shopped. Today, it is the site of where The Jewel, an 18-story condo, is being constructed.
(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)



This is a page from a promotional booklet called, Florida Scenic View Book. It was a popular publication for people that traveled south on trains or by automobile. This particular page highlights our neighbor, Bradenton. It says, “Entrance to Bradenton, Florida – “The Friendly City.” Looking south as you enter Bradenton, Florida, showing the beautiful Manatee River Hotel. A city of about 18,000, in Manatee County on the shore of the Manatee River. Several miles from the Gulf of Mexico, with miles of white sandy beaches.” 

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Venice Survived Boom and Bust Times

The City of Venice celebrates its 88th anniversary this coming April. Venice has come a long way since its beginning. The Knight family first homesteaded in the area in 1869, along with other pioneer families. The community that grew up in the region of Dona Bay became known as Horse and Chaise. Others began to come into the area in the late 1880s. Among them the Higel and J.H. Lord families, who purchased land and began experimenting with citrus and honey making.

When the Palmer family arrived in 1910, Mrs. Palmer began purchasing land throughout southern Sarasota (then Manatee) County for investment and potential development. She was instrumental in getting Seaboard Railroad to extend its tracks to Venice in 1911. However, the station was not built in old Venice but in the new development one-mile south. The residents of old Venice were not pleased with this and changed their community’s name from Venice to Nokomis.

When Florida entered the great land boom in the early 1920s, Venice was close to becoming a reality. Dr. Fred Albee purchased land from the Palmer Corporation and contracted with famed city designer John Nolen to design a plan for Venice. While Albee was planning his city, another player stepped into the picture. Read more...
(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)

Yesterday's Sarasota Calendar

Today in 1904, Karl Wallenda, quite possibly the world’s finest wire-walker (in his time), was born in Gross Ottersleben, Germany. A Sarasota resident since the 1930s, Wallenda thrilled millions of people with a career of astounding accomplishments. In a lifetime of superlatives, he considered his greatest feat the walk over Tallulah Gorge in Georgia in 1970.

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Who am I?

The winner of our last contest was Michael K. Walker. Congratulations!

I know many of you have visited me for wedding receptions, or other special events. So, figuring out who I am should not be that difficult. All you have to do is provide my original owner’s first and last name to win this week’s prize. "Who 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 a beautiful vintage-looking Florida Map Dish Towel, provided by Larry McLeod who produces Marketing Collateral Services, that include: Graphic Design for brochures, and flyers, Photography and Video, Web site design and management, Email Campaigns, Banners, Signs, Trade Show graphics, and 2D and 3D Animation.


You can contact Larry at 941-224-3020, or email him at: larrymcleod@verizon.net

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?


Ain't Life Grand?

“Mary! It’s not Valentine’s Day yet. I promise to give you a kiss when the time comes. Meanwhile, get off me; the guys will think I like girls!”
(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Postcard of the Week

In mid-20th-century in Sarasota, there were countless motels that housed many a tourist on vacation or for the entire winter season. Swimming pools and air-conditioning became important features, but in simpler places like Floradell Court, its beauty was comprised of pecky-cypress doors and paneling, Adirondack chairs, and classic casement windows.
(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)