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Newsletter December 24, 2014

Published Wednesday, December 24, 2014 9:00 am
by Editor

Christmas Time in Florida

Christmas Time in Florida (1952) is the tune, and we at Sarasota History Alive want to wish all of our viewers a joyous Christmas season, and a very Happy New Year. The little boy in the video, who is enjoying toys and cars, is none other than your editor. Ahhh, soft flannel P.J.'s...

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(Image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)

Drive By Gem

This week I decided not to show a home of historic interest, but instead what is standing proudly in the owner’s front yard. I have always liked guide posts and this one is no exception. Perhaps many of you remember the one that was at the corner of Ringling Boulevard and South Washington Boulevard, next to the Hotel Sarasota Terrace building. Need something to refresh your memory? 

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


A Card from the Payne's

This delightful Christmas greeting card is from Christy and Ann L.N. Payne. Their former home is the white mansion on South Palm Avenue; now part of Selby Gardens. They are sitting on their back terrace looking quite happy. The photo-card has a classic message from the Payne’s in 1938: “One of the nicest things about the Christmas season is remembering our friends and wishing them a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

This card is Courtesy of Selby Botanical Gardens, who wish you a wonderful holiday season.


Just Jane

HAPPY HISTORICAL HOLIDAYS, from all of us here at Sarasota History Alive!

Along with my good wishes, I’m alerting you to two wonderful additions of Sarasota’s vintage offerings. You see, besides loving to poke around and ferret out Vintage Homes, I love poking around Jesse Whites’ Sarasota Architectural Salvage, on Central Avenue and 11th Street. But now Jesse has opened SAS Mercantile in the former Ice House, right there at 10th Street and Central Avenue, where he sells ready-to-use, recycled, very cool stuff.

That building has just been waiting for Jesse’s creations, the perfect fit in a great old spot. Check it out at: www.sarasotasalvage.com. While you’re there visit our first cemetery, Rosemary Cemetery, just south on Central. Some of our earliest colonists are buried there, and for many years the Historical Society of Sarasota County has been making sure it is well-maintained.

Another holiday gift for you, in the way of a returning historic craft, is Irishman, Pearse Kelly who starts his mosaics classes, in January, at The Artful Giraffe. This adorable, eclectic gift shop and art studio is in the best little Historic Village downtown “mall,” located at Fruitville Road and Osprey Avenue. For the date and time, check out their website: www.theartfulgiraffe.com. Last year, Pearse’s classes at the HSOSC were sold out! He told me he now offers his artistic expertise when you consider enhancing your home with his custom mosaic creations for the pool, garden or interior, too. Visit his site at: www.splashmosaic.com .

Happy Historic New Year!


Postcard of the Week

With all our winter visitors and residents arriving shortly after Christmas, I couldn’t resist this postcard devoted to traveling. It reads:
“Crank up the Lizzy, an’ all git aboard,
We’re goin’ down south, so hurr up an’ load!
I know she rattles, an’ the radiator leaks!
But she’ll git us thar safe, even if she squeaks!
Git the axe an’ saw, an’ the big fryin’ pan;
An’the tent an’ pegs. An’ oh, my lan”!
Don’t forgit the matches, an’ the ole tire pump!
Hustle around now, an’ keep on the jump!
The weather-man says, thar’s a blizzard comin’;
So crank up the Lizzy an’ keep ‘er a-hummin’!
Head’er fer Floridy, as fast as we can go;
An’we’ll beat that blizzard, first thing we know!
We’ll pitch our tent, by a runnin’ stream,
An’ the rest of the winter,‘ll be one long dream! - S.S.R.

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources, Lesa Kenny Collection)


Yarbrough’s Tenure Saw School Growth

Thomas Wayland Yarbrough was the standard-bearer for Sarasota schools for nearly four decades. He came to Sarasota in 1907 to lead the public schools and, with the exception of three years in Mulberry, remained until his retirement in 1945.

Yarbrough came to Sarasota as principal of a two-story frame school on Main Street that boasted five classrooms and an auditorium. By the early 1910s, a rapidly growing population required more classroom space, and a red brick school was erected in 1913 on the same property, this time large enough to include high school classes. By the time the school opened in September, enrollment was 253 students (six in the 11th grade) and eight teachers. Yarbrough became principal of the high school with a salary of $125 a month. The first high school graduation was in May 1915 after four students completed the 12th grade.

The following summer, Yarbrough led a campaign to establish compulsory school attendance in the Sarasota district. (Although all public schools were under the county school board, each school had its own trustees and taxing district, which enabled individual districts to act independently in some matters). In the spring of 1915, the state legislature passed legislation that permitted local school districts to enforce, by a 3-5 majority vote within the district, compulsory attendance for students 8-14 years-old.

With the support of the district’s three trustees, the education committee of the Woman’s Club, and the editorial support of Rose Wilson, publisher of the Sarasota Times, Yarbrough pressed for approval in the September election. The vote was 58-5 in favor, from 200 registered voters. The Times noted that the Manatee and Sarasota districts were the first two in the state to adopt the law. Read more...
(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)

Yesterday's Sarasota Calendar

Today in 1925; it was the stuff that dreams are made of. Miss Dorothy P. Jones, by an astounding margin of almost two to one (for the closest runner-up) won the Sarasota Herald’s Popularity Contest. Her prize was nearly a month in the Big Apple. When in New York, she asked Mayor J.J. Walker (pictured) to come to Sarasota for a visit. Taking her at her word, his honor came to town then next year. He promised to return shortly and build his winter home here; he didn’t. But then he was a politician.

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Who am I?

The winner of our last contest was Nina Powers. Congratulations!

I am the building behind one of John Ringling’s yachts. At the time my name in this photo was the Sarasota Yacht and Automobile Club. A condo now stands close to where I did back in the day. In terms of today, “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?

This clown has quite a jug of juice, wouldn’t you say? He’d better be careful to not let that cork leak out some of the ‘shine' onto his lit cigarette. Hopefully, he is just going to lift his cup of cheer to wish you a Happy New Year!

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)



Sarasota County Historical Resources has many scrapbooks in their archives. As I was browsing through some, I noticed the embossed cover of one I found particularly attractive. Makes you want to hop on a carriage ride – around Central Park, maybe?

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Pretty as a Picture

This photo was taken in Sarasota, but I am not sure at which beach. It is not some picturesque image of loveliness, but instead it shows how many of us growing up here would head out to the beach for a cookout, and spend the night if we had permission from our parents. We fished, gathered coquinas (tiny sea clams) and made seafood broth, but the mainstay was, of course, hot dogs and “S’mores.”  Today, you would never be able to have that sort of freedom on a public beach. Paradise took on many hues during the 1950s.

(Image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)