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Newsletter November 25, 2015

Published Wednesday, November 25, 2015 8:00 am
by Larry Kelleher

Happy Thanksgiving

Pass the gravy, please…are you ready for Gobble-Gobble day? Lee and I wish you a Happy and Peaceful Thanksgiving. Let us all try to put the national and worldly issues aside for a day and just enjoy your friends and loved ones. If you have an outstanding favorite recipe you would like to share with our readers, contact us here.

(photo credit: Wikipedia)


Drive By Gem

This interesting looking frame vernacular home has been around for many years and may be over-looked since it is somewhat set back from the street. It used to be very drab and un-inviting with little curb appeal. Now, the owner has transformed it into a very nice spot that is close to downtown. Time to go for a ‘walk-by’ – especially after a big Thanksgiving meal.


Yesterday's Sarasota Calendar

Today, in 1885, the Ormiston Colonists, numbering almost 100, left Glascow on the steamship Furnessia (pictured), traveling to what was believed to be the modern City of Sarasota. They got their ideas from pamphlets distributed by the Florida Mortgage and Investment Co. who, in turn, blamed the people who had sold them the land. 

(photo credit: Wikipedia)


Pretty as a Picture

Believe it or not, this is Sarasota Jungle Gardens many decades ago. Apparently back then visitors were welcome to hang out on either Adirondack chairs or the webbed lawn chair as pictured in the foreground. Seems like everyone had a set of those foldable chairs and a webbed chaise lounge to match. These are still produced, but don’t seem to have the heavy webbing of the older models. Back then, people actually repaired them and they lasted for years; today, we dispose of them when they stretch out or tear. C’est la vie.

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Ain't Life Grand?

In a way this photo reminds me of the Ryan O’Neal and daughter Tatum O’Neal 1973 movie poster from “Paper Moon.” However, these folks, and the moon don’t look very happy. Perhaps the woman’s feet hurt from those shoes, and the man’s double-breasted jacket looks a bit snug. As for the ‘moon,’ maybe he doesn’t like people sitting on his chin.

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)



Postcard of the Week

You have probably read about citrus greening in the news for quite a while now. This plight is disastrous to the citrus farmers in our state with little to do about it, from what I have read. This postcard reflects the orange groves in a much more pristine shape in central Florida. Let’s hope research scientists can find a remedy for this important part of our economy. 

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources Hartig Collection)

House Rich With History

The house and 70 acres purchased by Luke Wood in 1896 as a 30th wedding anniversary present for his wife has stood through more than 110 years of Sarasota’s history. Built around 1884 by Alfred Bidwell, the house was reportedly the place where the Sarasota Vigilance Committee plotted the murder of postmaster Charles Abbe.

Abbe’s death in late December of 1884 resulted in trials during which Bidwell was found guilty of murder. Although released from prison a number of years later, Bidwell did not move back to Sarasota.

The Woods moved into their new home near Hudson Bayou during the winter of 1896-97 and returned every winter thereafter. Luke Wood had grown up on a farm in Rhode Island. When his wife’s health required a milder climate, the family began coming to Florida in the winter.

Once settled in Sarasota, they became part of the winter resident community, involving themselves in Sarasota affairs and organizations. After her parents’ deaths, Ethel Wood continued to winter in the family home and joined Daisy Williams in real estate sales.
In the early 1930s Luke Wood transferred 12 acres in front of his house, bordered by Wood Street, Osprey Avenue, Alderman Avenue and the Tamiami Trail, to the city of Sarasota for a park. The Garden Club received permission to develop and landscape the Luke Wood Park as an arboretum. Read more...

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Where Am I?

The winner of our last contest was Linda Maree. Congratulations!

I am a Sarasota School of Architecture home on the water – both of which are pleasurable for any home owner in the 1950s. The St. Augustine grass plugs and palm tree had just been planted by Pearson, Conrad, Nobel and Howell Landscapers. These were the days before air-conditioning so my occupants relied on the gulf breezes to keep cool at night. My architecture was well suited for this. Your task is to name my location; 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?



Hats off to Gunther Gebel-Williams; what a fine animal trainer and performer. This Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus poster is from 1971 and depicts him at his finest with lions, tigers and elephants galore. He passed away in 2001 in Venice from a cancerous brain tumor. 

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)