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


HSoSC in Harmony with GuitarSarasota

We are very excited to have our historic Crocker Memorial Church selected as the venue for six classical guitar mini-concerts/ lectures by

Founder of Guitar Sarasota, Thomas Koch

Founder of Guitar Sarasota, Thomas Koch

At 7:30pm on the second Monday of the month in our Crocker Memorial Church, November through April, professional musicians from Sarasota/Bradenton, Miami, Tallahassee, and beyond, will perform, educate, and promote the appreciation and cultural significance of the classical guitar as a solo and chamber music instrument.

GuitarSarasota’s performances at Crocker Memorial Church are open to the public and free of charge. Seating is open so come early!

This series, with its goal to perform and to engage the audience in an enlightening conversation with the artists, is a perfect fit with our Conversations at the Crocker, which is on the second Tuesday of the month. For the schedule of Conversations at the Crocker, see our Events Page.

Guitar Sarasota also hosts the 2016-2017 International Classical Guitar Season with four events. Tickets may be purchased for these starting on November 5.  Read more.

Fun, awards, food and… birds?

A little birdie told us

What did the little birdie say to the other little birdie? Come to the Annual Meeting on May 14 2016 to find out!

For the Society’s Annual Meeting on Saturday, May 14, there will be fun, festivities, awards and great food… what else could we want on a beautiful May Saturday? A beautiful, freshly-groomed garden? Check! Voting for the Board of Directors? Check! Delicious pot luck goodies from talented cooks? Of course!

Who will be this year’s award winners? Come and see… and applaud their service to Sarasota County history. (Here’s last year’s winners.)

Will your smiling face be in this year’s video review of all we did? Come see! Member Peter Piazza puts together a great show for us!

Want to hear what we have planned for 2016-2017? Maybe even take part in the planning and execution? Come volunteer?

Want to brag on your cooking skills? Bring a dish to share and get ready to taste an incredible variety of yummy stuff.

And want to see what A Little Birdie Told Us: The Tree is all about? I think you’re gonna like it. Come discover what we’re talking about on Saturday May 14, 11 am.

Secrets of an American Palace: April’s Conversation at the Crocker

Ron McCarty, Keeper and Curator of Ca’ d’Zan, Leads a Conversation and Shows Rare Photos of the Famous Mansion he calls “Mable’s House.”

No one is more aware of the importance of a great house museum to a specific community and to the wider world than Ron McCarty, the Keeper and Curator of Ca’ d’Zan, the fabulous American palace John and Mable Ringling built on Sarasota’s bayfront in the late 1920s. McCarty has been employed by the Ringling Museum longer than anyone in the history of the museum and will share Continue reading