Surprising Facts and Stories about Florida

Surprising Facts and Stories about Florida are Revealed

Esteemed archaeologist, Marion Almy and acclaimed historian,  Janet Snyder Matthews, longtime friends of the Historical Society and experts on Florida, come together on the stage of the Crocker Memorial Church for an informal conversation and photographic presentation. They will chat about the things that fascinate them about Florida. Come and be fascinated too!


These two experts will share facts and stories and rare photos of Florida in a Conversation at The Crocker on Tuesday, March 8, starting at 7 p.m. Historical Society members and students are admitted free; while guests pay $10 at the door. The historic Crocker Memorial Church is located at 1260 12th Street just off Tamiami Trail in Pioneer Park, Sarasota.


Janet Snyder Matthews, credit Erica Brough

Dr. Janet Snyder Matthews. Courtesy Erica Brough/Gainesville Sun


Dr. Janet Snyder Matthews is Associate Scholar in the Historic Preservation Program and Director, Academics and Research at University of Florida Historic St. Augustine, Inc. She is the author of the book Edge of Wilderness, A Settlement History of Manatee River and Sarasota Bay, now in its third printing . And she is the author of Sarasota, Journey to Centennial, Second Revised Edition, 2007, which is in print and available.
Dr. Matthews is also a frequent lecturer on diverse subjects ranging from modern architecture in Florida, African American history, women in legal history and cultural resources management. She has served the federal government as Associate Director, Cultural Resources and Keeper, National Register of Historic Places and at the State level she was director, Division of Historical Resources and State Historic Preservation Officer.


Marion Almy, president of Archaeological Consultants, Inc. in Sarasota FL

Marion Almy, president of Archaeological Consultants, Inc.

Professional archaeologist Marion Almy (born at Sarasota Memorial Hospital and was graduated from Sarasota High School), has for the past 35 years worked as a business owner in cultural resource management, focusing on research, writing, assessment and interpreting Florida’s prehistory and history. She is president of Archaeological Consultants, Inc. based in Sarasota. Almy has been recognized with awards and accolades from Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, University of South Florida, Small Business Administration, National Trust for Historic Preservation among others. Additionally, she is a past president of the Historical Society of Sarasota County.

“Did you know that people have been living here for more than 10,000 years?”

asked Almy. “As Jan and I converse, I might touch on an ancient Indian village under Interstate 4, a Seminole War military cemetery under US 41 in downtown Ft. Myers, and maybe we’ll take a look at what is beneath the nation’s oldest city’s streets. And did you know that Florida’s recent history is also top notch? My company was chosen by NASA to document the Space Shuttle Program when it ended because NASA is a federal agency and required to document/preserve their contributions to significant events in American History. I’ll share photos inside a Shuttle and NASA’s preparations to secure the shuttle’s place in history.”

An hour prior to this Conversation, docent-led tours of the Bidwell-Wood House and the Crocker Memorial Church are available.

Organized by the Historical Society of Sarasota County and sponsored by SARASOTA Magazine, Conversations at The Crocker events highlight specific aspects of Sarasota’s past and Florida’s history and examines pivotal events and people who have shaped the state. Proceeds help to maintain the Historical Society’s two heritage properties at Pioneer Park – the Bidwell-Wood House (1882) and the Crocker Memorial Church (1901).

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