The Perfect Holiday Gift

Do you have someone on your holiday gift list who’s hard to buy for? Give them something they don’t have:

A Brick!

Yes, thanks to HSoSC, you can have your message etched on a genuine old Sarasota brick for all to see and admire, while helping us preserve an actual part of our past!

These bricks were originally laid in the dawn

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New, an afternoon event at the Historical Society!

Not everyone can attend our traditional 7pm Conversations at the Crocker, but we don’t want to make it hard to have fun and learn a little with us. So we’ve added “History is Fun!” afternoon events to our educational line-up.

Our premiere event, our “Grand Opening” as it were, of these afternoon events will be Wednesday December 1 2021 at 2pm in the Crocker Memorial Church. It’s entitled “Sarasota: Art Inspired By The Past” and

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Come see our play!

On Tuesday November 9 at 7 pm in the Crocker Memorial Church, the Historical Society will be gathering at its first Conversation at the Crocker since the pandemic.

To mark the county centennial, the filmed reading of “The Roads We Traveled to Sarasota County“, written and produced by our own Kathryn Chesley will be presented. This November 2021 Conversation at the Crocker is eagerly awaited by members (free) and not-yet- members ($10) alike.

A Welcome Back Party on the Back Porch begins at 6 pm, the program starts at 7 pm, and we hope to see you there!

News of our new afternoon event on Weds. Dec. 1, “History is FUN!”, will be available as well. “The Past Inspires the Arts” with spotlight guest artist Marlane Wurzbach will our first presentation.

Our Forever Heroine

Coming up in 2022, there will be this wonderful “Forever stamp” to stock up on. If it weren’t for Dr. Eugenie Clark, what would our oceans and the Gulf of Mexico be like? Known as “The Shark Lady”… she transformed a dream into a multi-faceted research center, Mote Marine. Clark was a pioneer in the field of scuba diving for research purposes.

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Walking tour of Granada Neighborhood

Time for #whattodothisweekend, brought to you by the Historical Society of Sarasota County. See more, each week, on our Facebook page.

Saturday morning, join our historic peers, the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation, on their hour-long walking tour of the Granada neighborhood. Admission is $25.

And don’t forget, next Tuesday, November 9 (finally, our first since 2020!), is our Conversation at the Crocker at 7PM in the historic Crocker Memorial Church, 1260 12th Street, Sarasota. Free to members (you can join at the door) and $10 to not-yet members. This month’s topic.

This Day in History is very moving….

In the wee small hours of October 18 2006, you could have seen two historic buildings moving slowly, oh so slowly, through the streets of Sarasota.

That was the day in history when the Historical Society moved its buildings to Pioneer Park. Here’s the local news item:

SARASOTA October 16 2006– The 1882 Bidwell-Wood House had been scheduled to be moved from Florida Avenue to Pioneer Park early Thursday morning.
But mover R.E. Johnson and Son will transport the building 24 hours earlier. Sometime between 2 and 3 a.m. on Wednesday, the Bidwell-Wood House — and the Crocker Church — will be moved from Florida Avenue, south of 10th Street, to Pioneer Park, at 12th Street and Cocoanut. The Historical Society of Sarasota County and the city of Sarasota are coordinating the project.
The buildings have been up on trucks and ready to go for several days.The public is invited to follow the three-block move behind the trucks — in bathrobes and pajamas, for those who wish.
Once the buildings are in place, piers will be built into the footings, which have already been poured on a high spot in the park, and then the structures will be lowered into place.
The move will be videotaped for a documentary to be shown on the Discovery Channel and the National Geographic Channel.

And once the buildings were safe in Pioneer Park, all of us were walking on air.

Photo courtesy of Harold Bubil through the Herald-Tribune.

It had been a long journey, even though it was actually only a few blocks… and it would be several years before we could use the buildings to present local history, but this was a momentous day not just for HSoSC but for the entire county: two buildings saved from the wrecking ball, so that residents can understand what came before today.

Help the Historical Society of Sarasota County Preserve History

Swept by a conflagration…

This Day in History: On October 8, 1871… 150 years ago… the tragedy of the Great Chicago Fire happened.

“This city has been swept by a conflagration which has no parallel in the annals of history” wrote the Chicago papers… after they were able to start printing papers again.

“The Chicago fire has so absorbed public attention

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Centennial Presentations from the Historical Society

To mark the centennial year of Sarasota County, the Historical Society produced several educational events. These have had to be translated from in-person appearances to online presentations for use during the pandemic. The filmed reading of the play, The Roads We Traveled to Sarasota County, written and produced by Board member Kathryn Chesley, is available on loan for group showings with an appropriate honorarium. Please contact our office for more information. We will also be presenting the video with in-person commentary by Ms. Chesley and actors, as our November Conversation at the Crocker.

Kathryn Chesley, Author, Producer, Director, and Actor
Kate Holmes costumed as Lizzie Guptill

The slide show, From Wilderness to County, was originally created for our Speakers’ Bureau to take on the road to clubs, groups, and other gatherings. Kate Holmes, a volunteer with HSoSC, wrote, created, and presented this event while costumed as and in the persona of Lizzie Webb Guptill, a real-life pioneer who arrived in this area as a 12-year-old in 1867. Lizzie’s viewpoint of Sarasota’s journey from an unpopulated wilderness to a 20th-century county, can be viewed here.

It’s a journey to 1921, and we hope you enjoy it.

From Wilderness to County, a presentation from The Historical Society of Sarasota County

Our 2020 AND 2021 Hero of History

The longest-reigning, as-yet-uncrowned Hero of History at the Historical Society of Sarasota County has been Jon Thaxton. We look forward to finally being able to gather together at Michael’s On East on November 18 to acknowledge Jon’s vast contributions to our regional history. Please join us at this, our traditional luncheon.

Jon Thaxton is the designated Hero of History for 2020. An official celebration of his achievements and the presentation of his award should have happened in March 2020 at a grand luncheon with speakers attesting to the many accomplishments of this activist in the cause of preservation and conservation, especially of Florida’s natural spaces. But the HSoSC Hero of History recipients are not only recipients for one year. They are heroes for all time. So, we look forward to celebrating Jon Thaxton’s life in government, the non-profit sector and his private life through affiliation with history, preservation and conservation organizations on Thursday, November 18, 2021.

A worldwide pandemic has delayed our public recognition of Jon Thaxton’s work in Sarasota County, but not diminished his contribution one bit.

Reservation information below.

Contact Linda Garcia, Site Manager, at 941-364-9076, or email her at for more information and sponsor opportunities.

All previous reservations and payments still apply, and it will be doubly exciting to finally be able to cheer all our Heroes of History on! All Covid19 precautions will be strictly adhered to on November 18 2021. Would love to attend but the date doesn’t work? Chat with Linda… she has ways you can participate even without being there!

Yes, it’s fall in Sarasota.

For a climate not known for its subtly, our semi-tropical Sarasota lets autumn sneak up on us. Maybe youve noticed those beach sunsets come earlier and earlier? It’s already before 8. By Halloween, the sun will be setting at 6:45 p.m, and by Thanksgiving? It’ll be dark by 5:30 or so.
And how about your pool temperature? It’s going down even though

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