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Newsletter October 28, 2015

Published Wednesday, October 28, 2015 10:00 am
by Larry Kelleher

Drive By Gem

I normally choose one Drive By Gem, but today, I couldn’t resist these neat-looking bungalows all in a row. I am happy the residents obviously like vivid colors. These houses are rather small and remind me of the Tumbleweed Tiny Houses that are becoming more popular around the country. Just think we had these here all the while. Let’s hear it for historic preservation! 


Pretty as a Picture

I can never find anything about the Lido Beach Casino that I don’t like. The original diving board platform is no exception. Do you realize it is located in the City of Sarasota storage grounds on 12th Street? I would just love to find a place to put it indoors, restore it, and have period music, classic photos, and people’s recollections of this fabulous spot throughout its 30 year history. Suggestions, anyone? Contact us here, if you have any viable 

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Ain't Life Grand?

Here’s a shot of a little woman on horseback! Hmmm…it actually is a little girl on a pony; what’s the diff? About 85 years; I wonder if she is still alive. This was part of a Sara de Sota Children's parade in downtown Sarasota in the early 1930s. Note the brick streets. Lovely. 

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)



This isn’t really considered ephemera, but I thought it was something that was simple and taken for granted in the early 20th century. Wondering what it is? This is a raised relief from an old photo album; the original is a dark brown, so I decided to colorize it so you can see the angel-like woman blowing two horns. Now everything is stored on your phone. However, it is very special to curl up with an old photo album and page through it. 

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Postcard of the Week

This hotel (now part of University of Tampa) is not in Sarasota, but it is only up the road about 50 miles; sounds like I need to pay a visit soon. Oh wait, I heard a rumor that Ron McCarty, the keeper and curator of Ca’d’Zan is planning a Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation tour there in January. Stay tuned for more information on how to purchase tickets.

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources Hartig Collection) 

Cemetery Offers a Peek at the Past

Woodlawn Cemetery, located off 12th Street at the end of Gillespie Avenue in Sarasota, is the oldest recorded cemetery for African Americans in what is now Sarasota County.

In 1905, the Florida Mortgage and Investment Company, which had founded the Town of Sarasota in 1885, provided five acres for a “grave yard for colored people solely.” Five years later a plat was filed for Oaklands Cemetery on that site. During the 1920s, the name changed from Oakland to Pepper Hill and then to Wood Lawn.

A cemetery holds information that can outline a community’s membership. Additional information enhances the story of the community’s heritage.
The earliest known tombstone at Woodlawn shows a death date of April 10, 1905, for Johnnie Miller, age 27 months. He is one of the more than 100 infants and children listed in “Cemeteries of Sarasota County” along with over 700 adults in Woodlawn Cemetery. Five of those adults lived into their second century.

Research to date shows that eight of those buried in Woodlawn Cemetery had been born before the Civil War ended. One of these people was Willis Washington. Born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1851, he came to Sarasota with his wife Sophia Jane in 1894.

The 1897 Manatee Directory described him as a fisherman. They were leaders in the early Bethlehem Baptist Church. Willis was ordained a Deacon and Sophia was a Trustee at the time the congregation acquired land for the church’s first building on Central Avenue. Read more...

(photo credit: Sarasota History Alive)


Yesterday's Sarasota Calendar

Today in 1957, Welcome Home Lew! The hero of the World Series, Lew Burdette, who “tamed” the Yankees by winning 3 games, including chucking a “shut-out” in the 7th game, returns home. The Milwaukee Braves pitcher travelled by motorcade to Payne Park where the hurler was awarded the key to the city and a 16’ cabin cruiser.
(photo credit: Courtesy of the Charleston Gazette, 1955)


Who Am I?

The winner of our last contest was No one!

Dave Castleman (Left) at his dealership presents the keys to the first Edsel (Ford) in Sarasota. A new car is a necessity to a Realtor. Yep, the man on the right is a Realtor and was very successful during his time. Your task is to name him. Who 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?