Solomons Castle Trip January 24th


Join the Historical Society of Sarasota County’s bus tour to this fascinating, hidden gem on Thursday, January 24th, 2019 , for a fun-filled day’s adventure, including:

• Round trip transportation on a climate controlled coach

• Full guided tours of the Castle and King’s Court

• Lunch on the Boat in the Moat and time for shopping in the incredible Gift Shops!

The coach will leave from the HSOSC’s headquarters, located at 1260 12th St. (between N. Trail and Cocoanut Ave.) at 8:30 a.m. returning by 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $75.00, contact us at 941-364-9076 to reserve your seat!

Happy Holidays – Sign/Trips/Jewelry

Happy Thanksgiving and a Joyous Holiday Season to All !!

Yard work day was a blast – Sue Padden and her crew cleaned up the Historical Marker Sign in front of the Bidwell-Wood House along with lots of weeding.  A special treat was the great cookies from our leader Sue Padden! Make sure to check it out on your next visit to Pioneer Park.

We have space available on the December 8, 2018 Historical Trolley Tour with local historian Sue Blue.  Saturday morning from 10a – 12p visit downtown historical sites and learn of our local history.

Call the office for reservations and details – 941-364-9076.

We are traveling to Solomon’s Castle  in Ona, Florida on Thursday January 24, 2019.  Round trip transportation on a climate controlled coach, full guided tours of the Castle and King’s Court, lunch in the Boat in the Moat and time for shopping in the incredible Gift Shops.  We will leave at 8:30am and return by 3pm.  Cost is $75 and reservations are a must.

Sparkly Saturday is coming on February 9, 2019  –  we are collecting your donations now in the office for the sale – they will be picked up by Linnea Appleby from in January in time to be in our February event.

LeBarge and Conversations at The Crocker Guest Larry Thompson

Pat and Larry Thompson were onboard when the LeBarge History Cruise set sail last week with John McCarthy narrating. Thompson, who is the head of Ringling School and Design, is the speaker at The Crocker Memorial Church on Tuesday, November 13. In an illustrated lecture, he’ll tell the history of the famed art school from John Ringling dream in the 1920s to what the institution is today. Don’t miss this inter-active community conversation. It starts at 7 p.m. at The Crocker, 1260 12th Street (Pioneer Park). Historical Society members and students free. Guests, $10 at the door.

Larry & Pat Thompson

33rd Historical LeBarge Cruise

Join us this Sunday November 4, 2018 for a two hour narrated historical cruise on the LeBarge with our own historian extraordinaire Mr. John McCarthy.  Tickets are $50 or VIP $75 which includes early boarding / complimentary drink coupon / thank you gift.  All guests enjoy a continental breakfast with sweets and savories and a coffee bar.  Reservations are a must – call the office at 941-364-9076 Monday thru Friday from 10a – 2p to get your space reserved.  Learn about our local history while enjoying a beautiful cruise.

Norma Kwenski, Volunteer Extraordinaire, grabs the catbird seat on LeBarge, next to our commentator, always-captivating John McCarthy, one of Sarasota’s leading historians.

March 29th Official Howard Tibbals Day – Sarasota’s 2018 Hero of History

Howard Tibbals working on his masterpiece.

The Historical Society of Sarasota County is proud to announce that Howard Tibbals is Sarasota’s 2018 Hero of History and March 29th is officially Howard Tibbals Day! Thank you and congratulations Howard Tibbals for your tireless efforts all these years in helping to preserve such an important part of American history. We are so lucky to have this incredible work of art here in our home town of Sarasota.

Howard Tibbals Circus

Howard Tibbals receiving the 2018 Hero of History Award.


Tibbals Hero of History Raffle Prizes

Tour Ca’D’Zan with the expert who understands it like no one else in the world. Ca’D’Zan, 36,000 square-feet with 56 rooms. No one knows every inch of the mansion and its grounds like Ronald R. McCarty. He is the Keeper of Ca’D’Zan , who supervised the monumental restoration of the mansion that he likes to call “Mable’s House” You will explore secret places that tourists never see and you will see specific Masonic symbols that were incorporated into the facade of the house as well as Mable’s favorite flowers, zodiac signs, animals and classical symbols that were worked into the glazed patterns. This custom tour is one of Ron McCarty’s last. He is retiring after 38 years, the longest serving employee in the history of The Ringling. Maximum of six people – tour approximately two hours and must be taken by August, 2018.


Tour the Wisconsin with David W. Duncan, a Pullman car historian and the the expert who restored John and Mable Ringling’s fabulous private railroad car. At The Ringling, visitors can glimpse a means of transportation available only to the rich and famous. The amenities for a luxury life on the rails as well as the decorations are extraordinary. This private train car commissioned by John and Mable Ringling was used beginning the year they married in 1905. The tour begins with a look at the Howard Bros. Circus Model. David assisted Howard Tibbals with the installation and continues to assist with the maintenance of the miniature circus. David will arrange the time and date with the winner, but he suggests a Thursday evening when The Ringling is open late the the Wisconsin gallery has fewer tourists. Maximum of four – tour lasts about two hours.


Custom Cooking Class with Chef Judi Gallagher. You have watched her on TV, now you can dice, slice and chop right next to her in the comfortable cook’s kitchen at Southern Steer Butcher for a personalized cooking class followed by enjoying the four-course meal with a glass of wine or beer. This is a crowd pleasing menu of hand-cut, grass fed beef as well as organic vegetables and fruits and is destined to become part of your culinary repertoire, one that you will want to repeat with confidence in your own home for guests and family. During the class, Chef Judi will reveal serving tips and preparation secrets that restaurant chefs rely on. Dress casually, bring your apron and your cooking questions. Maximum six people – lunch or dinner. Time and date to be arranged with fabulous Chef Judi but no weekends.


Lions, Tigers, Bears and Chimps, Oh My! All yours at Big Cat Habitat. Get up close and personal with big and exotic animals. The winner of this rare experience wins a personal tour and chance to feed and get very close the the animals. Your guides are Kay Rosaire, educator/behaviorist who founded Big Cat Habitat & Gulf Coast Sanctuary in 1987 to protect and give home to large, rare and endangered animals, and her son Clayton Rosaire, one of the few men in the world who can put his head in a lion’s mouth. They will take you on a custom one-hour tour of their extraordinary and fabulous world. This is truly a walk on the wild side that you will never forget. Appetizers and wine served too (for you and friends, not the animals). Bring your camera for sure. Maximum of four – Schedule date and time directly with Kay, Clayton, or Danielle Rosaire.