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Newsletter August 19, 2015

Published Wednesday, August 19, 2015 9:00 am
by Larry Kelleher


Drive By Gem

Isn’t it refreshing to see a Mid-Century Modern house from the 1950s or 1960s that is well preserved and looks so inviting even today. I was tempted to knock on the great-looking red door and ask if I could see the interior. I am curious to know if they have 1950 furnishings and décor, too.


Pretty as a Picture

When was the last time you went to Linger Lodge? I haven’t been there for at least 30 years and my wish is it still appears like this photo. The one thing that still stands out for me is the tannin in the water that makes it look like brewed tea. If any of you have been there recently, please let me know what it is like these days. Contact us Here.

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Just Jane

Where, oh where, is Jane today?
Hints: There are wild mustangs in my binoculars. The outside temperature is 90, humidity 0%. I’m surrounded by dusty, reddish mountains. There’s a Pony Express Station, within 20 miles of where I sit. Quite a ‘fer piece’ from sunny, humid Sarasota, wouldn’t you say?

Speaking of the Pony Express, I never knew that the system only lasted about 19 months, and yet it still enjoys a huge place in our western history. Back in 1855, Congress turned down California U.S. Senator, William Gwin’s vision of bridging the mail gap between Missouri and California, a distance of nearly 1,900 miles, by using speedy ponies.

Private entrepreneurs, Russell, Majors and Waddell thought it a brilliant idea and their first rider departed from St. Joseph, Missouri on April 3, 1860. However with the transcontinental telegraph wires being connected in Salt Lake City on Oct. 24, 1961, their dream soon went up in financial smoke.

Can you imagine what they would think of the speed with which we will be able to have packages delivered by drone, to our homes in the very near future?

You could have Amazon send you something to your home on Fiesta Drive, for example. Check out our Vintage Real Estate Listings to see where else you could enjoy this kind of service!


Ain't Life Grand?

I haven’t heard the term “wiener roast” since I was a kid. This 16th Street crowd must have made their way to the beach, toting their firewood with them, by the looks of this photo. The street names and numbers changed in 1953 and this shot was taken before that. Today it would be the 10th Street Wiener Roast. In any event, I can almost taste the charred outside of a good hot dog roasted on an open fire. Hope they didn’t forget the ingredients for S’mores for dessert.

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)



I read the strict rules associated with a War Ration Book and thought you might want to know what is in store for you if we ever have to do this again.

1. Punishments ranging as high as Ten Years’ Imprisonment or $10,000 Fine, or Both, may be imposed under United States Statutes for violations thereof arising out of infractions of Rationing Orders and Regulations.
2. This book must not be transferred. It must be held and used only by or on behalf of the person to whom it has been issued, and anyone presenting it thereby represents to the Office of Price Administration, an agency of the United States Government, that it is being so held and so used. For any misuse of this book it may be taken from the holder by the Office of Price Administration.
3. In the event either of the departure from the United States of the person to whom this book is issued, or his or her death, the book must be surrendered in accordance with the Regulations.
4. Any person finding a lost book must deliver it promptly to the nearest Ration Board.


Historical Markers

“How to preserve history and share it with others?” This is a question faced by many communities. Some communities are equated with history, but for others, publicity is needed. This was the dilemma faced by the Sarasota County Historical Commission shortly after its creation in early 1958. Fortunately a solution was already in the community: Historical Markers. They have been used since the late 1800s to educate residents and visitors about many significant historical locations across the country.

The oldest historical marker in Sarasota County was installed by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1936. It is located at 1232 12th Street, at the Sara de Sota Chapter of the DAR, and documents the birth of the first white child in what is now Sarasota. Nancy Whitaker, the first child of William and Mary Wyatt Whitaker, was born approximately 300 yards west of this marker, on the shores of Sarasota Bay in an area known as Yellow Bluffs. One of the first historical markers done by the Historical Commission in 1963 was of Yellow Bluffs, the home place of the Whitakers.

The other 1963 historical marker done by the Historical Commission is the Scots Landing marker, at the corner of Main Street and Gulfstream Avenue. It was done in conjunction with the Historical Society and the Florida Board of Parks. This marker commemorates the December 1885 arrival of the steamer Governor Safford from Cedar Key with the first boat-load of transplants from Glasgow, Scotland. As Janet Snyder Matthews related in her book, Sarasota: Journey to Centennial,” They had been promised farm plots – within touch – of the three sides the City of Sarasota, and dwellings provided for three months. Unfortunately, all that greeted the new residents was a Company Store near the dock and a stumpy sand trail that led up the slope. That trail was Main Street. Read more... 

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Yesterday's Sarasota Calendar

Tomorrow in 1909, the Blackburn hardware store on the corner of Main and Palm (where 1305 Main condos are now located) was destroyed by fire despite the efforts of Sarasota’s new fire department. The fire began in a bakery occupying the back of the hardware store. (Editor’s note: Unfortunately, Mr. Blackburn did not carry fire insurance on the building).

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Where Am I?

The winner of our last contest was Woody Stone. Congratulations!

I started out as a sandy road and wasn’t used too much. Today however, I am quite a busy thoroughfare and am slammed with traffic during season. I realize I am not giving you much to go on, but if I give any more clues, it wouldn’t be challenging to figure out 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

"Beautiful ultra-modern building…Cheerful Rooms." That is what this postcard says about the Leslie Hotel, on Miami Beach, c. 1940. When was the last time you did a long weekend on Miami Beach? The Art Deco hotels and buildings are so enticing. Hmmm…wonder if I could slip over there for the Labor Day weekend. What a pleasant thought. 

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)