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Newsletter January 13, 2016

Published Wednesday, January 13, 2016 8:00 am
by Larry Kelleher

Drive By Gem

Remember the great-looking bungalow in the last newsletter? Well, this charmer is on the same street! I love the shutters and the shape of the front door and its screen door. The colors are lovely and even the mother-in-law apartment in the back yard is the same style and colors. Great choice. Now that the weather is cooling off, it’s a good time to take a spin and discover your own “Drive by Gems.” Happy Hunting…


Just Jane

This past Monday, I was honored to be present at the Sarasota National Cemetery, for the funeral service for my friend, Marie Rowe’s husband, Kenneth. This was only my second time out there on Clark Road but I just wanted to share with you how fast that place has grown since it opened in 2009. There are over 13,000 veterans buried there already, on ranch land that was purchased from J. Arlin Hawkins, whose ancestors settled there in the 1870’s. There is an average of eight services there per day, sometimes up to sixteen. The remaining acreage should carry them up to at least 2065. If you can’t get to Arlington Cemetery, you should make a visit to Sarasota’s National Cemetery, located at 9810 State Rd. 72 (Clark Road) east of Interstate 75. It’s impressive and very moving.

I’m taking a poll, to see if one of my favorite historic art forms, needlepoint, is making a comeback yet. Having finished one little Christmas stocking for one little grandchild, I took it to be finished off at the Eye of the Needle shop, located a block north of Morton’s Market on Osprey Avenue. I didn’t realize how time has flown, but that shop has been on Osprey for 35 years! They are now located across the street from the original location, but owner Kathy Levins told me she definitely sees a resurgence in needlepoint fans and I couldn’t resist getting another little stocking. Their assortment is amazing, and I’ve only got twelve more grandkids!

Serendipity sent me out in the rain on Sunday afternoon, past an 'Open House' sign. I made a quick U-turn and went back to wander through an adorable cottage on Oval Drive in McClellan Park. I’m hoping that “Elizabeth,” who lives way out Clark Road, who was checking it out too, will move into our great little Southside Village neighborhood. She’s a needle-pointer, too. There’s so much history here, and so much to love.

This Sunday afternoon, from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., please stop by the Historical Society’s 'Jammin’ in the Crocker/Artists in the Park event. Hear Sal Garcia and Jack Dowd (yes, that Jack Dowd, the sculptor) dueling on guitars, as well as Phil, the Hat Harris and Irish musicians, Pearse Kelly and Carolyn McKeown.

While we’re enjoying the music, libations and nibbles inside, the Light Chasers of the Sun Coast Artists will be out in Pioneer Park painting. You’ll be able to buy their gorgeous works, right off the easels, or choose from more works for sale inside the church. Get your reservations now, by calling Linda Garcia at 364-9076, or visit them at www.hsosc.com.


Ain't Life Grand?

Good grief, Mona, this wind is killing me and my tail feathers. I dare not put my head piece on; I just might take flight and miss the 3:00 o’clock show.

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Postcard of the Week

“Winter Bathing” – that’s the life. This image could be an early image of Daytona Beach or even Siesta Key. Back in the day, you were permitted to drive on the beach here, believe it or not. I guess tire tracks and oil leaks didn’t mar or discolor our beautiful white sand.

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor: 

Regarding the Sailor Circus...I was under the impression that Addison Gilbert was the SC "founder," and director of SHS athletics (and his wife was an SHS teacher). Gilbert subsequently joined the FSU staff and -- I believe -- served from 1960-64 as director of that school's "Flying High" circus.(Interestingly, longtime Sarasotan Jerry Collins, who built and for many years headed the Sarasota Dog Track, in 1981 donated the Clyde Beatty Cole Bros Circus (which he also owned for many years) to FSU.)

I also remember viewing one of the initial Sailor Circus performances, during its first year, and it was in the old SHS gymnasium which at that time was on property south of and adjacent to the original high school. It was torn down to make way for the magnificent and unique Paul Rudolph-designed SHS addition.

In 1957, according to the Sarasota Journal, Gilbert and Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Manager Tod Swalm took a copy of the Warner Bros. short mid-50's movie feature film about the Sailor Circus, "The Greatest Little Show on Earth," to officials of the Garry Moore CBS-TV show to encourage coverage of the student show. And in 1958-59, SHS seniors Jon Peters and Chip Anderson (photographer and editor, respectively, of the SHS newspaper) helped gain coverage of the Circus in Sports Illustrated and other national publications.

Stan Huguenin
Hawthorne, FL

The Times was the Town's First Newspaper

Three years before residents voted to incorporate the Town of Sarasota, Cornelius Van Santvoord and Rose Phillips Wilson moved to Sarasota to establish the town’s first newspaper.
C.V.S Wilson had entered the newspaper business after moving to the Orlando area in the 1880s. Several years later he started the Manatee County Advocate. In the spring of 1899 he moved to Sarasota with his second wife, Rose, and published the first edition of the Sarasota Times on June 1, 1899.

The Wilsons could hardly have expected a large readership. An estimated 600 people lived in the future Sarasota County area, which was part of Manatee County until 1921. Despite poor initial earnings, the Wilsons continually published the weekly until Rose Wilson sold it in 1923. For most of that time, the newspaper’s home (pictured) was a two-story frame building on the north side of Main Street, half way between Palm and Pineapple Avenues.

Advertisements dominated page one during the early years. In “The Story of Sarasota,” Karl Grismer notes that on the front page of the first edition, the manager of the De Soto Hotel advertised his renovated and refurbished accommodations, which provided access to Gulf beach houses where “Surf Bathing can be enjoyed.” Elijah Grantham and Dave Broadway promoted the groceries, hay, dry goods, clothing, and novelties at their store on Main Street at Palm Avenue. H.B. Harris advertised ice cream, cool drinks, fresh fruit, tobacco, and a recently opened barbershop at the back of his store. C.V.S. Wilson informed his readers that they could order wallpaper, as low as 3 cents a roll, through the Times office. Read more... 

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Yesterday's Sarasota Calendar

Today, in 1910, Dr. Joseph Halton moved into his concrete home built by E.C. Maus. “Dr. Joe” was one of the pioneer physicians in Sarasota. His home, on the northeast corner of Cocoanut Avenue and Fruitville Road, still stands today and has been restored and converted into a law office.

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Where Am I?

The winner of our last contest was No one!. Better luck this time.

I am a 1924 Comprehensive Plan for the City of Sarasota City, and alas, I was not adopted as drawn by my planner (sounds familiar). Some of my streets and squares don’t speak for what is here today. For example: The streets that are visible in this section of the plan are; Bay Parkway, Mays Street, and Grove Avenue. Some of the squares are; Osceola Square, Dade Square, De Soto Square, and Havana Square. Your challenge is to determine in what part of Sarasota I am located. Please be specific with the boundaries. 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?



Remember the series of Drive-In and Walk-Up Windows located on First Street behind the Palmer Bank? I remember when they were built and the city ordinances stated that they would only be legal and permitted if they were attached to the main building. That was solved by underground tunnels running under First Street. My Dad worked for the bank, and when he was assigned to the Drive-In on Saturdays, he would take me through the tunnel and we would climb up a ladder to get inside. I got to put lollipops in the drawer if kids were in the customer’s car. Very cool. 

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Pretty as a Picture

This is Laura Lock’s art class taking place on the bay front in the 1950s near downtown Sarasota. In the background you can see the Municipal Pier. Today the old pier is gone and the new one leads to Marina Jack and the boat docks. Everyone looks like they are enjoying themselves, though if you look closely you can see they are all painting something different from one another. Ah…the creative spirit!

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)