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Newsletter May 27, 2015

Published Wednesday, May 27, 2015
by Larry Kelleher

Drive By Gem

I pass this house frequently, and finally had my camera with me to get a shot of it. The lines are clean with some mid-century features. I particularly like the front door’s design and the owner’s color choice. This sleek-looking home is just west of Tuttle Avenue.


Pretty as a Picture

So many of us Sarasotans spent countless hours at the Trail Drive-In Theater on weekend nights, but did you ever stop to look at the simple beauty of how it looked in the daytime? The photographer captured a unique way to observe the lines of the fence in relation to the screen. The Trail was a lot of fun and gave us all some fond memories of the outdoor movie experience. Remember the kiddie train under the screen? Good times! If you have any recollections you would like to share, please do so here.

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Just Jane

Pelican Cove…I know, it’s NOT vintage, but when I sent my husband a listing for an available bay front condo there, he texted me back immediately, “but those are so OLD!”

I lost several nights sleep from trying to decide if I really wanted to leave my old, West-of-Trail neighborhood, after learning to love its eclectic, funky charms over the past twenty years. For now, we have decided, to stay put and re-do the kitchen and paint.

If you are looking for an affordable condo on the waterfront, where there are so many events on the calendar to keep you busy during the winter months, this is the spot for you. It would be like living in Selby Gardens, surrounded by luscious well-tended greenery, with bay waters lapping at the mangroves.
Seriously, this place has a harbor for your boat or kayak and direct access to the open waters of the Inter Coastal Waterway. Sarasota Square Mall and the Legacy Trail are just a short bike ride away…I sound like I’m still trying to talk myself into the second floor, very large condo on Clower Creek Drive. But, it’s the stairs that got to me, in the end. (I’m terrified of heights, stairs and escalators). Go check it out; it’s almost old enough to be called “vintage.”

By the way…mark your calendars now, for the first Farm-to-Table Dinner at Phillippi Farmhouse on Sunday, Nov. 15th, with Farmhouse Market foods, tenderly cooked up by Paul Mattison. The Farmhouse needs to be fully restored before its grand 100th Anniversary re-opening the following November, so come to this season’s dinner, in anticipation of the big gala dinner in 2016. I’ll have more details for you later. In the meanwhile check out our Vintage Real Estate listings.

Ain't Life Grand?

Those folks in Homosassa sure don’t monkey around when it comes to entertainment. Are there really more of those little guys in that barrel? Watch out little boy, when you run out of bananas, things may get a little precarious. 

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)

Phillippi Creek

Phillippi Creek is the only commonly known place name in Sarasota County that derives from the time when Spanish-speaking fishermen came from Cuba to fish the waters off the Southwest Florida coast.  From Tampa Bay to Charlotte harbor, they began to establish their seasonal fisheries in the last half of the 18th Century, when Spain held Florida. Plentiful fish attracted the fishermen from August to March, when they returned to Havana in fishing smacks and schooners to sell their accumulated catch. Much of it was dried and salted, some kept fresh in special holds.  Left behind at the ranchos were caretakers and (often) Seminole wives and children. Both Janet Snyder Matthews in Edge of Wilderness and Joe Warner in The Singing River provide insight into this time period.

After Florida became a United States territory in 1821, the federal government began an effort that culminated in a decision to remove the Seminole Indians, who had migrated south into Florida from Georgia and Alabama, to the Oklahoma region. As the conflict between government and Indians intensified during the Second Seminole War (1835-1842), the Spanish-speaking fishermen were increasingly caught in the middle. They needed government approval and protection for their commerce, yet had close family ties with the Seminoles. Many left the region. Read more...

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Yesterday's Sarasota Calendar

Today in 1934, Sarasota witnesses its first double 50th wedding anniversary, Mrs. Emmett B. Tucker and Mrs. William Mink, the former Nancy and Sarah Anne Tatum (the family home pictured), probably also had the first double marriage in town, in 1884. (We say probably because the first school teachers in Sarasota, Sue and Anna Whitcomb, also had a double ceremony but no one seems sure of the exact date. 

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Who am I?

The winner of our last contest was Joseph Wread. Congratulations!

My name was First Federal Savings and Loan and I was originally organized in 1934 by William Guy Shepard who was my first president. Under the leadership of Mr. Shepard and later George K. Page, I became one of the largest financial institutions in the United States. That aside, your task is to answer the question, “Where was I?” (What is the name of the two intersecting streets on the corner where I stood before being demolished?)

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?



Speaking of trains (see this week’s postcard), this is a pocket schedule for the Silver Star which was part of the Seaboard Coast line Railroad. Back in the day you would have carried this with you when you traveled, but today that just seems so quaint. A new and sporty Apple Watch, anyone?

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)

Postcard of the Week

This is a 1939 nicely-framed image of The Orange Blossom Special, which was part of the Seaboard Airline Railroad. As it breezes along, it makes you wonder if the passengers were excited about seeing orange trees bearing fruit and sunny skies awaiting them as they approach their destination. If you are not from here, what was your first visit to Florida like? Let us know, here.  

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)