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.

Haven’t you always wanted to run away and join the circus?

Historic photo (1910) by Harry A. Atwell as seen on monovisions.com

Haven’t we all, at one point or another, wanted to run away and join the circus? And do it in STYLE? Now, thanks to the Historical Society, you can… at least for the day.

On Wednesday January 22, we’ll let you imagine being a circus performer, a guest of John and Mable… during a private tour of

Courtesy The Ringling

the Wisconsin, John & Mable Ringling’s first private railroad car,

in the Circus Museum at The Ringling.

Our intimate group will get a private tour led by Jennifer Lemmer-Posey, Tibbals Curator of Circus, and Pullman Car Historian David Duncan and will learn about the Ringling life on the rails and about the amazing parade wagons used by the circus in the Ringling era.

Courtesy getrealexclusive.com

“Understanding that the Ringlings didn’t own a home, they rented for many years… one can imagine the Wisconsin was the Ca d’Zan before they built the Ca d’Zan,” says Deborah Walk, retired Ringling assistant director of legacy and circus, and current Society Board member.

This event will help preserve the historic Crocker Church, the Bidwell-Wood House, and our ongoing educational programs. The cost is $75 per person, including lunch at the renowned MUSE restaurant on the museum grounds. Call Linda Garcia, our HSoSC guardian angel at 941-364-9076 from 10am to 2pm Monday-Friday, or email hsosc1@gmail.com right NOW to grab one of the few remaning spots on this once-in-a-lifetime event!

 

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…)

Sarasota’s Mennonites: A Conversation at the Crocker

Who are the Mennonites and how did they get to Sarasota?

Our presenter on Tuesday evening, January 14 2020 (Please Note: the incorrect date went out to some of our subscribers. The correct date for this presentation is Tuesday January 14. Our apologies.) at 7pm is J.B. Miller. He is a lifelong Mennonite who lives in Sarasota and teaches about Mennonites and Amish.

Mennonites in Sarasota“Many people have limited knowledge of Mennonites and Amish,” said Miller. “Often their only contact is them pedaling around on three-wheelers or visiting one of the restaurants located in Pinecraft, an enclave home to primarily Amish and conservative Mennonites.”

This Conversation at the Crocker is all about the Mennonites – who they are, why they came to Sarasota, why they dress the way they do, and what their influence has been on the shaping of our community. We are lucky to have a speaker who can answer all your questions.

Doors open at 6pm – program begins at 7pm. Free to HSoSC Members – $10 for future members.

CONVERSATIONS AT THE CROCKER:  Our most popular gatherings. A series of interactive discussions on events that shaped Sarasota County’s past and continue to exert influence on its present and probably the future. These monthly events run from October through April. Explore our past Conversations.

These events start at 7pm in the Crocker Memorial Church. They are FREE to Historical Society members and $10 at the door for not-yet members. Bring your friends and participate in lively and informative discussions.  Bidwell-Wood House is open beginning at 6pm for touring before the meetings.

Trading mullet for orange seeds: Is that any way to start a city?

The Whitakers: at the Historical Society of Sarasota County
Imagine Sarasota in 1842. Imagine being 21 years old and trading mullet from the Bay to start orange groves. Imagine courting, then marrying a girl from Manatee Village, a long hard ride from your homestead. Now imagine Bill and Mary Jane Whitaker having 11 children in the wilderness.

Your local guide, Lizzy Webb Guptill, portrayed by our very own Kate Holmes, will tell the story of her neighbors in this visual presentation of Sarasota’s Pioneer Family.

Sunday Afternoon Social, A light, entertaining program presented cafe-style in the historic Crocker Church (c.1901) Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 2 pm

Light Refreshments

Tickets at the Door, Seating Limited

Members $5, Future Members $10