Sarasota Honoring its Veterans

“Over 100 years ago, on April 8, 1917, a rainy Easter Sunday morning, “Sarasota’s Sailor Lads,” a well trained Naval militia, gathered at a downtown movie theater for religious services. They were leaving that day bound for Europe and World War I” …”To honor them, a flagpole was erected at the center of Five Points, flying a large 12-by-20 Stars and Stripes donated by

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Lookin’ good!

Our pretty campus in Pioneer Park got some extra lovin’ recently. Linda Garcia, our Site Manager, writes:

We stacked up 32 bags during our few hours’ work on Saturday and they were all picked up on Monday!  There will be a wedding in the Crocker Memorial Church on Saturday, so we made an all-hands-on-deck effort to clear out the storm debris. Sue Padden is working on the flower boxes on the front porch.  What a CREW and what great work we accomplished.  Thanks so much.  Linda

Take a look at these avid volunteers:

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Read Florida History for Free

Is your house overwhelmed with books? You just can’t resist the opportunity to learn more… but there are books “stacked on the floor, books kept in baskets” and so on? Well, we’re here to help you save some space.

We’ve found some digital books that we think you’ll like, and all they occupy are some gently-used electrons that are infinitely recyclable… in other words…

Here’s some PDFs available for the low low cost of FREE!

If you know of more free reading about Florida and its history, please add them in the comments.

The Digital Library of the Caribbean offers:

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What’s a penny, after all?

“Your penny at work.” That’s the slogan of the campaign asking voters to approve, on Election Day 2022, a continuation of the county 1% sales tax. Many wonderful things have been financed by this income since it was first authorized in 1989, but never before has the history of our county been addressed. 

And what’s a penny after all? Pennies in the US have been around since the 18th century… although, of course just like us, a penny isn’t what it used to be. Did you know Benjamin Franklin designed the first penny, seen here? (Wasn’t he the BUSIEST man you’ve ever imagined!)

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You might not be a native, but your landscaping can be!

We all want our gardens, whether we have a multi-acre spread or a pot on the balcony, to scream FLORIDA!
Well, here’s local folks to help, and to get native plants from. And their advice is wise, easy to get, and free. It’s available one day only, though.

Courtesy gulfcoasthomeguide,com
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First Conversation @ The Crocker!

We’re so excited about the October 11 2022 Conversation at the Crocker coming up as a kick-off to our 2022-2023 season.

You've seen him on Youtube, you might have met him at History is Fun back in the spring: Dr. Josh Goodman is our new enthusiastic Historical Resources manager.
You’ve seen him on Youtube, you might have met him at History is Fun back in the spring: Dr. Josh Goodman is our new enthusiastic Historical Resources manager.

Our speaker will be Dr. Josh Goodman, Sarasota County’s new

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This Day in History: September 19, 1559

Just a little something to ponder as we enter the peak of the hurricane season, here in 2022.

Pensacola was the scene of a massive hurricane that changed the history of North America forever, illustrating the pivotal role that such storms played and continue to play in human affairs. A weeks-old settlement of over 1000 people, who had begun to clear land and even plat out residential lots, lost

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In their own words

The best kind of history? First-hand from people who lived it. You get a feeling for the times, see events through borrowed eyes, and have the opportunity to experience what life back then was like for those who lived through it. And the interviewers, who took the time and effort to create a slide show with photographs and other memorabilia, made these oral histories entertaining and enlightening. Enjoy

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Help the History Center

Love local history? Get into it up to your elbows, suggests Marsha Fottler, President of the Historical Society.

Click to learn all the various aspects of volunteering at the county’s Historical Resources.

When important documents and artifacts are donated to the Historical Society of Sarasota County, we bring them to the History Center, where professionals can conserve and store them. Why? Because we do not have the proper security, climate control, or storage space to professionally archive these heritage things. At the History Center many items are digitalized and all are categorized and preserved in a way that the public can have access to them for personal or academic research.  Many members of the Historical Society enjoy volunteering at the History Center and click here for some areas that could have appeal. Volunteering at the History Center is a way of learning more about the history of Sarasota County and you’ll meet new friends who feel the same way.

Marsha Fottler, President HSOSC

More about how you can help and learn.

Gonna make me some per-loo

You can’t get more Florida Pioneer than making some pilau (pronounced “per-loo”) for dinner, supper, or a get-together potluck.

So what, you might well ask, is pilau? It’s really any meat and rice dish, and here’s what some historic figures have to say about it:

In the 18th century, naturalist William Bartram wrote of eating squab “made in pilloe with rice” while he was traveling through South Carolina. Of course he hadn’t gotten to Florida yet, but I daresay there were more cooks in South Carolina than in Florida at that time. And all that good Southrn cooking found a welcome home in Florida!

“Pilaus,” wrote Florida author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings in 1942, “are almost a sacred Florida dish. No Florida church supper, no large rural gathering, is without it. It is blessed among dishes for such a purpose, or for a large family, for meat goes farther in a pilau than prepared in any other way.”

Pilau is truly an international dish just as Florida is the place where all nations meet: there are Ugandan, Kenyan, Indian recipes readily available online or in your favorite cookbook. What’s so wonderful about it, besides stretching the meat as Rawlings mentioned, is that you can make it your own. Some folks call it pilaf (well, I admit I did before I got to Florida), and some folks use poultry (see Bartram’s remark above), some use beef, sausage, pork.

I can never decide so I use chicken AND sausage. Over in St. Augustine they make a Minorcan version with shrimp and datil peppers. You can even start with a rotisserie chicken from the market (although I wouldn’t.)

You can even say it in your choice of pronunciation. Or call it paella, risotto, jambalaya.

Just don’t call me late for supper!

This Day in History: August 4 1842 The Armed Occupation Act

1842 – The Armed Occupation Act was passed by Congress on this date. Each settler who would settle and cultivate five acres or more of land in eastern and southern Florida for a period of five years would receive 160 acres of land and one year’s rations from the Federal government. Settlers were expected also to provide militia service, if needed, to control the activities of the warring Seminole Indians. This was the prelude to the official declaration of the end of the Second Seminole War on August 14, 1842.

My Florida History

This was an important date for two figures in Sarasota history. Read on…

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