And so Sarasota County begins….

Today in History, July 3, 1921:
The day before the United States’ Independence Day, having declared its independence from Manatee County, the first meeting of the Sarasota County Commission was held.
Warren Day's sketch of Hover Arcade, Sarasota FL, in the 1920's

Renting space from the city in Hover Arcade, the commission set about the ordering of such essentials as equipment and record books. Taxes would follow.”

.             . from Yesterday’s Sarasota Calendar, as published by J. Whitcomb Ryylee in conjunction with the Historical Society of Sarasota County.

The sketch of Hover Arcade is by Warren Day, a Sarasota artist represented by Pixels.com. You can order this and other local scenes as wall art, tote bags, even a phone case here.

“It will afford a grand opportunity for the dealers to work off their surplus of bandanas”

In so many ways, history repeats.

Downtown Sarasota in 1890.

1890. Plenty of parking.

In 1890, the house Alfred and Mary Bidwell built was not even ten years old. The Woods hadn’t even seen it, probably. Sarasota was a minor fishing village way south of Manatee.

But there was a pandemic in America.

It was called the Russian flu. But it wasn’t “just” a flu. It killed.

Initially, public health officials played down the dangers, arguing that the Russian influenza represented a particularly mild strain. Some officials denied that it had arrived at all and insisted that patients merely had the common cold or a more typical, seasonal flu.
The newspapers, too, treated the influenza as nothing to get worked up about. “It is not deadly, not even necessarily dangerous,” The Evening World in New York announced, “but it will afford a grand opportunity for the dealers to work off their surplus of bandanas.”

We were lucky 130 years ago. The pandemic died down in only a month or two. Of course, there was what was called the Spanish flu less than 30 years in the future.

Read more about the Russian flu on History.com.

Cooking through history.

Our mission during The Great Pause has been to keep you smiling, keep you thinking about a bit of history… and to keep you well-fed on our Facebook page . Here’s a quick sample of our daily Pantry Recipes, posted around 5 PM, and we can manage to intertwine a little of the history of eating….

Feeding hungry college students for over 100 years:

This heritage dish goes by multiple names, the Historical Society of Sarasota County found out.

Click to see what folks across the country call this humble casserole.

It’s a basic. Canned salmon has been available since the Civil War, and folks ordered canned goods from Sears Roebuck in Sarasota County in the 1880s and beyond.

Salmon patties have be a mainstay since canned goods were invented, says the Historical Society of Sarasota County.

Click to see just how many folks truly LIKE salmon patties (there’s a great contributed recipe for salmon salad in the comments there, too.)

Now this recipe for Magic Ribs might have been cooked up by Shakespeare’s three witches. Well, maybe not. The 2 major ingredients wouldn’t be invented until centuries later:

Click for the magic. They taste much more complex than their two common-place ingredients.

It’s just 15 seconds, but we think this little video about The Giving Challenge 2020 will help us all think #People1st #ThenBuildings

For The Giving Challenge 2020, think #People1st #ThenBuildings

Click to see how to #BeTheOne #UntilThisIsDone

On our page, we also greet you every morning with a Rise and Shine message, offer you a smile or two, and send you a relaxing soothing image to wish you sweet dreams. Follow the Historical Society page here.  And for a slightly more world-wise page, follow our Sara de Sota page as well.

Please view our video about how we can participate in the 2020 Giving Challenge the end of this month.

A history interlude

We’re having hard times right now, and if you spend ANY time online the media seem to make it even scarier. So we’ve dedicated our Facebook page to help you cope, to make you smile, to maybe even teach you a little history.

We know not everyone visits Facebook, so here’s some of or recent posts focusing on history. Stay tuned… soon we’ll share some of the best Pantry Recipe posts too!

Everyone enjoys a good video, right?

A video found by The Historical Society of Sarasota County

Click to view The Florida Dream.

It’s local. Two towns, both vitally important to Sarasota County history:

Cortez and Cedar Key both played roles in Sarasota County history

Click to visit Cortez and Cedar Key. Can you smell the fresh air and hear the water?

It’s great to learn, but sometimes it’s fun to look back just a few years:

Remember this phone?

Remembering when phone manners  were a thing.

It’s just 15 seconds, but we think this little video about The Giving Challenge 2020 will help us all think #People1st #ThenBuildings

For The Giving Challenge 2020, think #People1st #ThenBuildings

Click to see how to #BeTheOne #UntilThisIsDone

On our page, we also greet you every morning with a Rise and Shine message, offer you a smile or two, and send you a relaxing soothing image to wish you sweet dreams. Follow the Historical Society page here.  And for a slightly more world-wise page, follow our Sara de Sota page as well.

Please view our video about how we can participate in the 2020 Giving Challenge the end of this month.

Making History Together during COV-ID 19

Marsha Fottler, President, Historical Society of Sarasota County

Marsha Fottler, President, The Historical Society of Sarasota County

At The Historical Society of Sarasota County, we are, like everyone else, struggling to get through these perilous and historic days with both good sense for safety and optimism that when it’s all over, we will emerge as stronger people ready to restore our lives and institutions. We are once again participating in the community-wide Giving Challenge later in April. But, we want you to know how we are approaching this fund-raising project and we want to express to all of you the feelings of the Board of Directors and the Advisory Board.

We’ve made a simple message about the upcoming 2020 Giving Challenge and how you can help our community survive and prosper with your participation. Click here.

The 2020 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation.

Spreading a little happiness online

We’re having hard times right now, and if you spend ANY time online the media seem to make it even scarier. So we’ve dedicated our Facebook page to help you cope, to make you smile, to maybe even teach you a little history. Here’s what we’re doing :

We’re taking an historical stance on this historic event, the COV-19 crisis. As you know, people have been through lots worse, under scarier conditions throughout history, and even within the lifetimes of most of us.

We will get through this. And with that in mind, HSoSC will be posting things to help you get through, enlighten you, occupy you, amuse you and make you wonder.

Bookmark, like, share, comment, tell your friends that if they want some neighborly ideas, follow us

… until COV-19 itself becomes history!

We know not everyone visits Facebook, so here’s some of the most popular light-hearted posts. Stay tuned… tomorrow, we’ll show you some of the best historical posts too!

Since today is Easter, how about:

 

Bunny Butt Pancakes

The perfect Easter breakfast … or even supper.

 

Easter COV-ID 19 masks

Well, we can’t be in the Easter parade this year but we can get in the Easter-bonnet mood!

 

Getting ready

We gotta laugh at ourselves (or everyone else will.)

 

The Great Pause Shopping Tips

Why, we even include shopping tips for our followers!

On our page, we also greet you every morning with a Rise and Shine message, offer you a daily Pantry Recipe, and send you a relaxing soothing image to wish you sweet dreams. Follow the Historical Society page here.  And for a slightly more world-wise page, follow our Sara de Sota page as well.

And do not miss our video about how we as a Society will be participating in the 2020 Giving Challenge  the end of this month. If you click on just one click, make it this one.

We are living in historic times.

A message during the COVID-19 pandemic from our Board of Directors.

The Historical Society and the 2020 Giving Challenge, Sarasota

We are living in historic times. You don’t need the Historical Society of Sarasota County to tell you this, I know. But I do want to tell you something that is vitally important…

The 2020 Giving Challenge is presented
by the Community Foundation of Sarasota
County with giving strengthened by
The Patterson Foundation.

The Historical Society will help you through this historic time.

HSoSC will help Sarasota County through theCOV-19 crisis

Okay, the Historical Society is gonna step up and take an historical stance on this historic event, the COV-19 crisis.

As you know, people have been through lots worse, under scarier conditions throughout history, and even within the lifetimes of most of us.

We will get through this. And with that in mind, HSoSC will be posting things on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/historicalsociety.sarasota/  that will help you through, will enlighten you, occupy you, amuse you and make you wonder.

Bookmark, like, share, comment, tell your friends that if they want some neighborly ideas, follow us… until COV-19 itself becomes history!

Choo choo said the train, binding Florida into one….

Does this sound * get your travel juices flowing?

Railroads in Florida, presented by David Duncan at the Historical Society of Sarasota County

Click (State Archives of Florida/Hutchins) to see full size.

Circus Train, Sarasota

Click (State Archives of Florida) to see full-size version.

If so, you must come to our Sunday Afternoon Social!

David Duncan discusses the history of the railroads in our next Sunday Afternoon Social, on Sunday February 16 at 2 pm in the Crocker Memorial Church. Ticking overalls optional.

Our Sunday Afternnon Socials are casual, cafe-style events. Light refreshments served. Interaction welcome. Members $5, not-yet members $10. Join at the door for a year’s membership (click to get the form to fill out ahead of time) for the member rate.

And let us leave you on this note.*

 

* Wav files from flrr.com

Turning Beads into Beams!

We’re VERY excited to host our annual Sparkly Saturday on Sat., February 8 from 9am to 1pm. What’s Sparkly Saturday?

A “trunk show” of gently-used vintage, costume, unique, fine and fashion jewelry displayed for you in the Crocker Memorial Church, and a bonus tag sale on the porches of the Bidwell-Wood House.

Sparkly Saturday at the Historical Society of Sarasota CountyWhy are we so excited? Well first ’cause it’s fun, second ’cause who doesn’t love some fresh adornments, and third because the underpinnings of the Crocker Memorial Church are ready for some serious rehab. (Click for more.)

If you love to sniff out treasures, this is the event for you! And yes, folks, Valentine’s Day/ Galentine’s Day is just around the corner.

Lots going on this Saturday… that’s why we’re opening at 9am! Get first dibs, explore our offerings, then it’s off on your Trolley Tour, your class, your visit to the beach!

Presented in partnership with jewelrytotherescue.org

Food, glorious Florida Food

Ah, a topic we can all get behind for our February Conversation at the Crocker. Florida food!

A Cuban sandwich is Florida food

Your author’s favorite Florida food: A hot pressed Cuban (photo, floridadailypost.com)

What ten foods would you say are uniquely, specially Floridian? Come see if you agree, as our panelists, Dr. Gary Mormino and celebrity chef and food writer Judi Gallagher pique our appetites and tell us all the foodie news on Tuesday February 11 at 7 pm in the Crocker Memorial Church.

Seating is limited for “Follow Our Food”, so come early! And eat first so your tummy won’t growl.

Members are free, not-yet members are $10. Join at the door for a year’s membership (click to get the form to fill out ahead of time) and free admission for $35 single, $60 family.

The Historical Society of Sarasota County loves Key Lime Pie.

… and your author has never been known to turn down a slice of Key lime pie.

 

Haven’t you always wondered THIS about Sarasota County?

“Golly gee willikers,” you say to yourself. “How can I live/ visit here and not know…The Historical Society of Sarasota County is having an "Ask Me Anything [about Sarasota history]" event at Barnes & Noble

  • Who is St. Armand?
  • Why does Main Street dead end?
  • Did Ringling really use elephants to build the bridge?

or even:

  • Why do they call it Sarasota?

Well, here’s your chance to ask those questions that you’ve always wanted to know but were afraid to ask!

Ask Me Anything [about Sarasota history]

This Sunday, January 26 2020, volunteers from the Historical Society of Sarasota County will be at Barnes & Noble from 2 to 4 pm to chat one-on-one with you about things you’ve always meant to find out about how Sarasota County came to be the way it is.

In addition to folks who can stir your imagination and pique your curiosity, we will have renowned local authors signing their books, upcoming events listings, even Mable and John Ringling characters who would love to pose with you for selfies.

The cafe in the store is cooking up brownies to honor local history… which, perhaps you know (you didn’t? You need to come ask questions!), were “invented” by Bertha Palmer, Queen of Chicago and Legendary Lady of Sarasota, as a lady-like snack for the Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago! (Get there early and I’ll give you the original recipe!)

A small percentage of everything you buy that day in-store or online, will be donated to The Historical Society.

Your B&N purchases of anything and everything in the store will contribute to a donation to the Historical Society when you mention us at the cash register.

Can’t attend but would love for the Society to get credit for any B&N online purchase you make on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday? Type in our code  12582334  as you purchase to benefit the Historical Society.

Barnes & Noble is located at 4010 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida 34231. Click for a map.

When was the last time you took a look at St Pete’s history?

Our intrepid travel volunteer, Jane Kirschner, is leading another of her fun and informative bus tours, and you need to join us!

St. Petersburg: Revitalizing History, A Bus Tour

The historic Vinoy Hotel in St. Petersburg

The historic Vinoy Hotel in St. Petersburg, one of our highlights during the bus tour.

With a guide from the “Preserve the Burg” group, we’ll see St. Pete’s fascinating historical highlights, including vibrant Central Avenue, the Detroit Hotel (1888), the 90-year-old St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club with over 1200 members, and the spectacularly restored Vinoy Hotel.

We’ll enjoy a gourmet lunch (included) at the renowned Chief’s with a choice of entrees before we explore the African American Trail, witnessing the amazing revitalization of The Deuces corridor and visiting the Woodson Museum.

Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020 8:00-4:30. Leaves from the Historical Society, 1260 12th St. between the North Trail and Cocoanut Ave. Free parking.

$80 Member, $90 not-yet-Member, includes lunch.

Reservations required. Grab yours now, we were a third full before our eager “tour”ists even knew the details!

  • Reservations can be mailed in, with your payment to: HSOSC, P.O. Box 1632, Sarasota, FL 34230*
  • To charge, call Linda Garcia, our Site Mgr., between 10 and 2 on weekdays 941-364-9076*
  • Questions about reservations? Email hsosc1@gmail.com
  • Any questions about the tour, please feel free to call: Jane Kirschner, Tour Organizer 941-320-7773 Cell

* What’s for lunch? Choose from the wide array Chief’s Creole Cafe will prepare for us, and tell us when you make your reservation:

1/ Shrimp & Cheesy Grits

2/ Gumbo

3/ Shrimp Po Boy

4/ “not too” Spicy Jambalaya

5/ Portabella Burger (vegan!)

6/ Chicken Salad

Nota Bene!! Luncheon includes: Your meal choice, non-alcoholic beverage and TIP! Beer and Wines are available at your extra cost. Please make note of your choice, on your calendar in case you don’t remember.

Now that I’m 119, I could use some fresh underpinnings…

Pioneer Day in Pioneer Park at the Historical Society of Sarasota County
The Crocker Church has been a community gathering place for 119 years. Let’s make it a part of Sarasota County for another century or so.

If we don’t care about our past, we cannot hope for the future. ~

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

Perhaps you’ve heard that after a certain age, it’s patch, patch, patch? Well sometimes, it’s more like a major LIFT is needed.
Our beloved community gathering place, the Crocker Memorial Church, needs new underpinnings. A major support beam is in drastic need of renewal. You can imagine the cost… now, imagine your contribution. 

Please support the new structural support beam.

You can send a check to HSoSC at 1260 12th Street, Sarasota FL 34236, or donate instantly with your credit card via this secure Internet link. You can even pledge a monthly amount through Paypal if you choose. Thank you for helping keep the Crocker Memorial Church whole and healthy for today, and for all the tomorrows.

Bertha’s Been Busy Baking Brownies

Kate Holmes as Bertha PalmerOne of our most popular “spokespersons” from the Speakers’ Bureau at HSoSC is Bertha Palmer, here shown as presented by Kate Holmes. Having done over 300 appearances as “The Queen of Chicago/ Sarasota’s Legendary Lady”, Kate tells us that the two most-asked questions she gets are “Where did you get that great dress?” (Answer: On the Internet of course!) and “Can I have the recipe for Bertha’s most famous invention, the Palmer House Brownie?”

So here’s the brownie recipe. Kate says the secret’s the apricot glaze, so don’t skip that step.

BTW, you CAN get Bertha’s Brownies at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago… or, if you’re very lucky, your local group/ club/ HOA will invite Bertha to appear before your group and one of your members could be talked into baking these! (Save one for “Bertha” to take home for her hubby…)