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Newsletter July 14, 2016

Published Thursday, July 14, 2016 7:00 am

Drive By Gem

Here I am again promoting these charming small houses East-of-the-Trail. If I keep showing you these enticing places, you might think I am studying for my Realtor's exam. Rest assured that will never happen; I am beyond taking courses in anything at my age. I probably couldn’t even handle one of those ‘How to, books for Dummies.’


Ain't Life Grand?

“What’s up, Doc?” “Peekaboo.” Fresh air fiend? I guess you will have to fill in your own tag line on this week’s funny photo. I could drone on for hours over this, but sometimes it is best to let you handle it. If you would like to add some comments, by all means do so here.

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Postcard of the Week

This is the Bay Breeze Motel on the North Tamiami Trail. I seriously doubt it is still there, and even if it was, it probably no longer looks like this. Considering that all the jalousie and casement windows are open, I gather this place was built before A/C fully arrived in Sarasota. Hence, the name Bay Breeze, is very appropriate.

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Just Jane

Jane is on vacation out west, and all over the northeast - lucky her! She never lets me tag along. I need to get outta Dodge and take a break. Jane, where are you? We need an App like Pokemon Go to find her!



I like postcards and booklets that offer a lot of color, as you can see. This ‘March of Progress’ publication has all sorts of interesting aspects to it. In particular, I am intrigued that it was published in the 1930s by the Bureau of Immigration. Hmmm…in the 1930s we were encouraging immigration, but today we are not (at least not from ALL countries). What does this say about our Republic?

(image credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Pretty as a Picture

I am hopeful that many of you lived here while the Hover Arcade was in its glory. It housed our City Hall, and the attached municipal pier offered up other venues like the Chamber of Commerce. In this shot, Broadway’s ice cream parlor is on the right side of the building, and on the left was our first silent movie theater. Wish this architectural feat was still at the foot of Main Street.

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


County Treasure

I always like to show you some of John Hamilton Gillespie’s pins that he was rewarded in his military service. This one represents his time as the queen’s body guard, for Scotland. They don’t make ‘em like they used to. 

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Museum of the Cross 

Although Ben Stahl’s Museum of the Cross was open to the public for only three years, it made a lasting impression on those who saw it. The core of the museum’s collection was “The Way of the Cross,” a series of 6-foot by 9-foot paintings depicting the Good Friday events from Jesus’ condemnation by Pontius Pilate to Jesus’ body being placed in the tomb.

The museum first opened in November, 1966 in a building on Tamiami Trail just south of the junction of U.S. 41 and 301. The two-story, round glass building had been built in 1959 by Victor Lundy, one of the Sarasota School of Architecture architects who brought a modern look to Sarasota’s postwar construction. The 14 large oil paintings hung against a backdrop of floor-length draperies around the circular walls.

Subdued lighting, background music and benches invited the viewer to move slowly through the museum. Also on display were several hundred crosses that had been collected by the Stahls.

The second opening of the Sarasota Museum of the Cross was held in April, 1968 in the building shown in the above photograph by Joseph Steinmetz. On U.S. 41 south of Stickney Point Road, this building was designed for the museum by Bradenton architect Gene Willis. Like its predecessor, it also had curved walls. A 60-foot high white and gold cross market the museum’s entrance. Read more...

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Yesterday's Sarasota Calendar

Today in ca. 1867, the Webb family settled on Spanish Point. They had come to Florida to search for an area that had been described to them by a Union soldier. They chanced upon Bill Whitaker, who recognized the spot from their story and lead them to Little Sarasota Bay and the site of a great Indian mound. (By 1870 the Webb family began placing ads in several national publications extolling the virtues of Sarasota. Soon many tourists including such notables as the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland, and Hungarian writer and scientist Dr. Herdicka came for a visit). Charles Webb, ca. 1905, is pictured above.

(photo credit: Sarasota County Historical Resources)


Where was I?

The winner of our last contest was Susan Zimmerman. Congratulations! Please email me your mailing address, so I can send you your prize. My email address is: editor@floridahistoryalive.com.

I’m not going to tell you my name because that will probably give my location away. As well, I have nothing to say about the four guys up on top of the telephone pole (that’s pretty amazing in itself). What I will say, I was located on a busy intersection in Sarasota. Your task is to answer the question, “Where was I?” (Please provide both of the street’s names that I fronted).

Click here to submit your answer for this week's 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?


Letters to the Editor

(Editor's note: I apologize for not publishing these letters in the last newsletter; I neglected to have them ready for my deadline)

Dear Editor: Hello - It was great to see a pic of what is thought to be the Symphonia in this week's newsletter. However, that is not the Symphonia. It could be the Zumbrota or the Zumbrota II. The Zumbrota II exists today and does not have a mast. The Symphonia had 2 masts. The Zumbrota (first) was used in the war effort in The Great War. The Zumbrota II was used in the war effort for WWII and never returned to the family. Charles Ringling was my Great grandfather.

Michael Lancaster,
Cirrillos, NM

Dear Editor: Love your newsletter. Somehow I started getting it after I attended the 50 year reunion of Sarasota High. I only lived in Sarasota between 1956 and 1961/1962, but those were 8th through 12th grade, and I still view it as "home". I particularly liked the Dutch Pantry memorabilia. My mom was a waitress's at Dutch Pantry. I didn't appreciate Sarasota fully until I moved away, but 1950s - 1960s Sarasota was about as close to heaven as possible.

Sue Nemetz (nee Kestly)