Can you hear a pin drop?

Is it just, well, too quiet around your place? We have some audio suggestions.

With selections like Fire on the Mountain, Pat Shields, John McCutcheon & the Roberts Brothers,
Florida Memory Radio is presented by the State Archives of Florida. It is part of the Florida Memory Program, whose mission is to provide free online access to a growing number of archival resources from the collections of the State Library and Archives.

Florida Memory Radio provides worldwide, around-the-clock access to the Florida Folklife Collection recordings housed in the State Archives of Florida. Programming includes bluegrass & old-time, blues, folk, gospel, Latin and world music. Through the work of folklorists and archivists, as well as the legacy of creation passed on to future generations by the artists themselves, this music is preserved and enjoyed.

The Brox Sisters plus teddy bear!

(As curious as I am? Click the pic for The Brox Sisters doing Marlene Dietrich)

Florida Frontiers: The Weekly Radio Magazine of the Florida Historical Society is a weekly, half-hour radio program, a combination of interview segments and produced features covering history-based events, exhibitions, activities, places and people in Florida. We explore the relevance of Florida history to contemporary society and promote awareness of heritage and culture tourism options in the state. Stream them whenever it gets too quiet at home.

And finally, If you like moving pictures served up with your audio, we offer up Florida Frontiers Television.

(And when you get tired of all the noise, turn the speakers off and read all the Florida history articles they have for you here.)

There, these free sources should liven the amosphere up. Enjoy!

Pineapples in Sarasota: A History

Downtown Sarasota’s New Year’s tradition is to drop a giant pineapple at the stroke of midnight. Huh? Pineapples? Sarasota doesn’t have pineapples, does it?

Jan Thornburg's photo of the pineapple Sarasota drops for New Year's Eve

Well we did.

Yes, pineapples were once grown as a cash crop in Sarasota. William Whitaker, who homesteaded here in 1843, teamed up in the 1870’s or 1880’s with Charles Abbe, the postmaster of Sara Sota, as we see in this newspaper clipping:

Prof. C.E.Abbe and Wm. Whitaker growing pineapples in Sarasota

Bet you thought pineapples were native to Hawaii. Easy mistake to make. Here’s what Diana Harris, Englewood historian, wrote about that:

open quoteHawaii is so closely associated with pineapples that one might presume pineapples were indigenous to Hawaii, that they traveled from there to the West Indies and Florida.

Actually, the opposite is true. Surprisingly enough, it is recorded that pups, slips and suckers from pineapple plants were shipped from Florida to Hawaii in 1885, thus starting pineapple growing in Hawaii. In 1901, Jim Dole started what is now a world-famous operation, Dole Pineapple.” Read the whole article including why pineapples are no longer grown locally except in our gardens as a novelty.

Here’s the Historical Society’s nod to pineapple growing:

Pineapples in Sarasota, at the Historical Society of Sarasota County, 12th St & Tamiami Trail, in Pioneer Park

And of course there’s Pineapple Avenue. But then again, there’s Orange and Lemon and Cocoanut and even Osprey Avenue, and you don’t see a giant bird being dropped on New Year’s Eve, do you?

Turns out, the pineapple drop has nothing to do with our county history, and everything to do with developers….

open quoteSince 2000, downtown Sarasota has welcomed in the New Year with a free special event … known for dropping a bright, decorative pineapple at midnight—much like how New York City drops an apple.

There’s just one mystery—why is a pineapple used?

About 10 years ago, a development was planned for downtown called Pineapple Square. Part of the development was retail stores along Lemon Avenue and Main Street. This includes the current stores there such as Blue MercuryEileen Fischer, and Sur La Table.

“As part of the marketing for the development, attractive pineapple-shaped light fixtures were installed along the exterior of the stores,” says Jan Thornburg, senior communications manager for the City of Sarasota.

Also part of the plan was the use of a large, lighted pineapple right beside the Pineapple Square development to welcome the new year. and even though some parts of the plan never fully blossomed, the use of the lighted pineapple stuck around, becoming the new beacon for our massive New Year’s Eve block party.”

And yup, developers were and are a much more lucrative cash crop in Sarasota County.

Pineapples are a part of Sarasota county heritage
And now that we’ve whetted your appetite, how about a light modern Pineapple Upside Down Cake?

Fresh Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Highly recommended by the Historical Society of Sarasota County.

Sources Visit Sarasota , Jan Thornburg, The Englewood Sun and here’s the recipe.

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!

Historical LeBarge Cruise – Sunday March 8, 2020

Coming on Sunday March 8, 2020 the Historical LeBarge Cruise 11a – 1p.

This is a wonderful way to learn our local history from the water view. Narrated by local historian extraordinaire John McCarthy. Includes a sweet and savory buffet and coffee. Tickets are $50 or $75 for VIP which also includes early boarding, a complimentary drink coupon and a thank you gift. Reservations a Must – call the office at 941-364-9076 to get on board!

2020 Hero of History Honoring Jon Thaxton

Edited: Due to the COVID crisis, this celebration has been rescheduled for the same date in 2021. Join us on March 18 2021 to honor Jon Thaxton as our latest Hero of History!

2020 Hero of History awarded to Jon Thaxton by the Historical Society of Sarasota County

Michaels on East

Wednesday March 18, 2020

Thursday March 18, 2021

Registration 11:30am

Luncheon & Program Noon

Tickets – Individual $100
Sponsorships:
Environmentalist $2,500
Bird Lover $1,000
Scrub Jay $250
For more information contact Linda Garcia
HSOSC 941-364-9076 or hsosc1@gmail.com

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.