Sarasota News, 100 years ago

1923’s Sarasota. Wouldn’t you have loved to buy a lot or two?

How’s your year going so far? 2023 shaping up as interesting, is it? Here’s what you would have been thinking about 100 years ago in Sarasota.

Top Headlines for 1923

Mira Mar Apartments and Hotel

“I am not especially anxious to build a hotel in Sarasota”

Is it just me, or was this the start of something that looks a lot like what’s going on in 2023? Mr McAnsh stated

in the Sarasota County Times: “I am not especially anxious to build a hotel in Sarasota. It is not imperative with me. If the progressive citizens of Sarasota want this big project well enough to present this free-will offering of thirty thousand dollars they can have something that will do more for their city and resort than anything else ever has, but I want to make this point clear from the very start, that there must be no strings to this bonus and no misunderstandings.” {source}

John Ringling’s wheels, 1923

In the mood for some wheels?

Maybe John’s auto is too too. Maybe a motorcycle would suit you better?

Wonder if anyone got the $98 sidecar as a wedding present?

Photo courtesy Jeff LaHurd

We’re all in this together

On Sept. 27, 1923, multi-term mayor Everett Bacon declared a public workday, drawing together citizens to construct both a baseball diamond and a site for a county fair at the same place and at the same time, and for the same reason – to publicize the assets of newly established Sarasota County …

At the Woman’s Building, along with the numerous exhibits, of jams, jellies, preserves and cakes, intricate knitting, crocheting, quilting “fancy work” and children’s clothing were on display. To raise money to pay for the electrical wiring and fixtures, the ladies held a barn dance.” {source}

Buy this photo on eBay for $375 (and $5 shipping too.)

There are Giants among us

The same day, the citizens of Sarasota built a baseball diamond and grandstand on land sold to the city at a discounted rate by Calvin and Martha Payne. The facility would eventually be called Payne Park. After several unsuccessful attempts to get a professional baseball team to use the facilities for spring training, in 1924, the city was able to secure the New York Giants to start traveling down to Sarasota. It has been reported that John Ringling helped convince the Giant’s management in this decision. The Giants would use Payne Park for three years, ending in 1927. {source}

“We need a new high school.”

Always with the construction, the darn schools. In 1923, Sarasota High School was still downtown. What we think of as the “Old SHS” wasn’t built until 1927.

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