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Newsletter July 8, 2015

Published Wednesday, July 8, 2015 9:00 am
by Larry Kelleher

Drive By Gem

How can you go wrong with a fashionable ranch-style house? The wooden structure of this home adds a lot of character and the color sure makes it stand out to passersby. This lovely place is also nicely landscaped and is located East-of-the-Trail. Let's hear it for curb appeal!

Pretty as a Picture

I realize that many people don’t like swans since they can be aggressive and messy. In any event, I have always admired how they paddle about and look so graceful while they search for their dinner. This white beauty was once a resident of Jungle Gardens. 

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Just Jane

Well, another one bit the dust, last week!

The old Reasoner home, “one of the finest homes in Manatee County,” built in 1896 by Egbert Reasoner, was bulldozed to make room for a gas station in Oneco. The owner tried to find someone to move it before its demolition, but could never secure a perfect buyer. So goes our history, plowed under like dead trees in a nursery. You’d think someone with an imagination could have turned the home into a great gift shop, wouldn’t you?

But, some good news closer to home, actually on Bahia Vista Street, near Pomelo Avenue. I notice someone is restoring an old home, known to have been a boarding house, back in its day. The new owners of the house right next door tried valiantly to find a mover for their new possession, without success even though they were giving it away! Jonas Yoder is now constructing a solid-looking house which takes up most of the lot, but I'm sure it will improve the neighborhood when it’s finished.

Mark your calendar for a fantastic, delicious 'Farm to Table Dinner' at Phillippi Estate Park on Sunday, November 15, 2015. Chef Paul Mattison is going to be stirring up the ingredients he’ll find at the Farmhouse Market there at the Park. We call it, “Palates and Palettes” because The Light Chasers Plein Air Painters will also be there, painting and selling their works, right off the easel. All this to support the restoration of the historic Keith Farmhouse, which will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2016. Y’all come!


Ain't Life Grand?

Got oar? Gee, this little guy has a lot of responsibility to handle holding up his end of the rowing. Wonder if he would qualify at the Nathan Benderson Park rowing complex. Perhaps with a little more training he might fit right in.

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)



The Sarasota County Fair began in 1924 and has been a standby for the past 91 years. This poster was used during its 50th Anniversary. What an institution!

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


A $10,000 Silver King

Ordinarily, when a Silver King is mentioned, it brings to mind a two-hour struggle to boat or land a 185 (or more) pound tarpon.

Ordinarily, when Sara-de-Sota is mentioned, it brings to mind a two-week long celebration commemorating the naming of the city of Sarasota.

Ordinarily, as you may now know, I look for and find things that are sometimes out of the ordinary. And so I want to relate to you the following excerpts from an article that appeared in "The News," November 13, 1955, about a different Silver King and Sara-de-Sota.

Historically, mention of the Ringling Estate brings to mind Objects d'Art, hotels, boulevards, mansions and yachts, all of which were associated with the locally known brothers, John and Charles.

Yet, hidden away for almost 30 years on the Ringling's Estate, has been one of the most fabulous hydroplanes ever constructed. Never very famous in international racing circles, she was well-known in Sarasota during the late 'Roaring Twenties.' Read more... 

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Yesterday's Sarasota Calendar

Today in 1913, (Nemo's News) "Our community has set aside Saturday as a day to be devoted to cleaning up and improving the looks of our cemetery, a work worthy of commendation." Someone once said, "Show me your cemetery, and I will tell you what kind of people dwell in your midst." (The Whitaker Cemetery in the 1940s is pictured). 

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Where Am I?

The winner of our last contest was Chris Houtchens. Congratulations!

I am a stately structure that is important in our county history. These gentlemen are assembling my many parts and doing a fine job of it. Your task – Where am I? 

Click here to submit your answer for this weeks quiz, click here to view the last challenge and correct answer.

(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?


Postcard of the Week

Gosh, this is how the Florida Theater looked when I used to go there with friends to see a movie. Now it certainly is much more refined and repurposed as the Sarasota Opera House. This 1926 entertainment venue was built by A.B. Edwards and has been a hub of activity ever since by presenting Vaudeville, silent movies, musicians, movies with sound, and opera.

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)