If you’ve even admired Burns Court, or visited Woman’s Exchange in a building built by Owens to house the local newspaper, or used the Historical Resources archives, much of which was donated by daughter Lillian Burns, or had the pleasure to meet his younger daughter Harriet Burns Stieff who holds a Distinguished Service Award for the Historical Society, you have Owen Burns, born this day in 1869 in Fredericktown MD, to thank.
October 31st is Owens Burns’s birthday. Raise a glass to someone who made Sarasota what it is!
“He came to Sarasota in 1910 and was a leader in practically every movement that saw Sarasota grow from a fishing village to one of Florida’s leading resort cities,” the [Herald-Tribune obituary] said in 1937, without hyperbole.
At one point, Burns owned 75% of what is now the City of Sarasota. Who built Cà d’Zan? Owen Burns. Who was a Commodore of the Sarasota Yacht Club? Owen Burns. Who built and named a hotel after his wife… whom he met when she was vacationing in Sarasota? You guessed it. The influence of Owen Burns on our area cannot be overstated.