Ready for Reservations!

We have the calendar set for next season and we are ready to take your reservations for the Historical Downtown Trolley Tours and the 35th Historical LeBarge Cruise. Call the office at 941-364-9076 Monday – Friday from 10a – 2p to get on board!

Sunday November 3, 2019 from 11a – 1p is the 35th Historical LeBarge Cruise with John McCarthy!

Sue Blue, narator, Historic Downtown Sarasota Trollet Tours from the Historical Society

Saturday morning from 10a – Noon – Join Sue Blue for the Downtown Historical Trolley Tour – DATES:  October 19 / November 16 / December 7 / January 11 / January 25 / February 8 / February 22/

March 14  March 28 / April 4

Historical LeBarge Cruise

The first Sunday in March is the 34th Historical LeBarge Cruise narrated by John McCarthy, noted Sarasota Historian extraordinaire. Tickets are $50 for regular and $75 for VIP which includes early boarding / complimentary beverage and a thank you gift. Join us March 3, 2019 for an amazing history lesson on the water from 11a – 1p. A continental breakfast and coffee are provided for all guests.


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.

March Events

Thursday March 15, 2018 – “Docent Tours” of the property are scheduled for the second Thursday of the month from January through April. They are from 10:30a – 11:30a and are free to HSOSC members and $5 for guests. Join docent Kathryn Chesley and learn the detailed history of our two gems here in Pioneer Park – The Bidwell-Wood House (1882) and the Crocker Memorial Church (1901). Reservations are not required.

Sunday March 18, 2018 –  Sunday Afternoon Social from 2p – 4p.

$10 per person / $5 for HSOSC members provides light refreshments. This third in the series is an afternoon with Kathryn Chesley as she presents Sarasota History 101. Come to meet Mary Jane Wyatt Whitaker, one of the first white settlers in Sarasota. She has lots to tell you about the development of Sarasota from its early days, under Spanish rule, through its booming year of 1925. She has the stories and the pictures of her life and times as this area developed, changed, prospered and grew.

Four new bricks will be inlaid on the walkway in front of the Bidwell-Wood House prior to the Social.

Thursday March 29, 2018 – Hero of History Gala Luncheon at Michaels on East – Registration at 11:30a – Lunch & Program 12:00p. Join us for the Hero of History Award event honoring Howard Tibbals, creator of the world famous Howard Bros. miniature circus at the Tibbals Education Center, Ringling Museum. Tickets are $100 per person and reservations are a must. Call the office to reserve your seat. Four spectacular Raffle Items will be available at $10 per ticket or 3 for $20.

Previous recipients are John McCarthy, Sue Blue and Jeff LaHurd.

Upcoming Events

Saturday February 10, 2018   9A – 1P
Presented in partner ship with The Crocker Memorial Church will be transformed into a glittering jewelry gallery for a show and sale of distinctive pre-owned, under-appreciated, artistically rehabilitated jewelry. Organized and presented by community volunteer Linnea Appleby. The porches of the Bidwell-Wood House will be filled with gems of home furnishings that you can carry with you. Find treasures in time for Valentine’s Day!!


Sunday February 18, 2018 from 2p – 4p. This has been developed as requested by members who are unable to attend evening programs.  This second in the series is an afternoon with Bertha Palmer.
Kate Holmes has been presenting Bertha Palmer to the community since 2000. She becomes this lady of the 19th century and manages to tell her story entwined with the early years of Sarasota with grace and warmth. “It’s important to me,” says Holmes “that we who have adopted Sarasota as our home, understand how incredibly isolated and primitive it was a mere 100 years ago…and how a woman could influence an entire community, at a time when women were not even allowed to vote.”
This social is from 2p – 4p and is $5 for HSOSC members and $10 for guests payable at the door. Light refreshments will be provided.

Trolley Dates are Confirmed!

The 2017-2018 Trolley Tours have been scheduled and confirmed. We are ready to start taking reservations for our  popular Saturday Morning two hour narrated tour from 10am – Noon. Sue Blue is our wonderful local historian who will teach you many interesting historical facts on your ride through the downtown historic sites.  Mark your calendar and call the office to make your reservations at 941-364-9076.  We have 15 dates to choose from starting in September through April:  September 30 / October 14 / October 28 / November 4 / November 18 / December 2 / December 16 / January 13 / January 27 / February 10 / February 24 / March 10 / March 24 / April 14 / April 28.  The price is $30 per person and these fill up fast.

Sue Blue, narator, Historic Downtown Sarasota Trollet Tours from the Historical Society

Exciting New Events This Fall

We’re excited about 3 events this fall (well, we’re excited about them ALL, but especially these):

Our new pop-up History Book Swap* will be an added attraction at our Conversations at the Crocker meetings (we all love to expand our knowledge of history!)
And thanks to our never-say-die volunteers, the Designer Tag Sale* returns on Saturday Nov. 12: all sorts of wonderful home and garden embellishments, just in time to refresh your home for the holidays.
Plus, on Thanksgiving weekend, a great shopping opportunity: Sparkling Saturday*, featuring gently-used, unique, and estate costume jewelry for your browsing and gifting pleasure. Starting at $3, these treasures will be here for just one day, Saturday November 26. So gather your Thanksgiving visitors, and come on down!

Now, I’m sure you know that pretty darn soon we’ll be asking you to participate in #GivingChallenge16 where your online monetary donation to us will be doubled or even tripled (trebled? I think that’s the historic word!) during the 24-hour window Sept 20-21.

But right now, these hot August days are a good time to stay indoors, de-clutter, and donate your underloved but wonderful stuff to help our volunteers raise funds!

Here’s what we can turn into income for ongoing expenses: (And remember, you can ask Linda for a tax receipt if you need one.)

1- Have spare or duplicate books and booklets on Sarasota County, regional, or state history? Donate for our NEW pop-up book shop, debuting at Conversations this fall. Drop them off anytime.
2- The Designer Tag Sale comes back Saturday November 12! Home decor items would be wonderful. If you’d give it as a gift, we’d love to have it! Since these donations take up space we don’t have, if you could put them aside to bring in in late October/ early November, that would help so much!
3- Go through your jewelry! We’re having the jewelry sale to end all jewelry sales, Sparkling Saturday, on Saturday November 26 (that’s Thanksgiving Saturday.) Drop off anytime. Guy jewelry too. Yes, even broken jewelry will be helpful.  Note: Your donation of costume jewelry gets you a FREE PASS to the sale (a $5 value!) Get a friend to fill a baggie or two with her unworn sparklies, and get free passes for BOTH of you!

Inviting friends, neighbors, coworkers and fellow residents to our events and sales is a gift you can give the Historical Society for free, without even de-cluttering! Imagine if we could introduce the Historical Society to two or three times the audience we now have!

*All three events need volunteer help before and during. Give Linda a call or an email about your availability and what you’d have fun doing. 941-364-9076 or