Conversations at the Crocker
Our pretty campus in Pioneer Park got some extra lovin’ recently. Linda Garcia, our Site Manager, writes:
We stacked up 32 bags during our few hours’ work on Saturday and they were all picked up on Monday! There will be a wedding in the Crocker Memorial Church on Saturday, so we made an all-hands-on-deck effort to clear out the storm debris. Sue Padden is working on the flower boxes on the front porch. What a CREW and what great work we accomplished. Thanks so much. Linda
Take a look at these avid volunteers:Continue reading
First Conversation @ The Crocker!
We’re so excited about the October 11 2022 Conversation at the Crocker coming up as a kick-off to our 2022-2023 season.
Our speaker will be Dr. Josh Goodman, Sarasota County’s newContinue reading
What’s coming at the Historical Society
The Board of Directors has announced our new Calendar for the upcoming 2022-2023 year at HSoSC. While there are still some events awaiting confirmation, you can plan on these events. See you there!
March is for Lovers!
March is definitely for lovers. Lovers of local history that is. After so long apart, we’re thrilled to welcome you back on campus in Pioneer Park.
Yes, the Historical Society is holding events in March. And not only are you welcome, you’re encouraged to attend! Come as you are. The only event requiring pre-registration is the Historical Bay Cruise, so check with Linda Garcia, our Site Manager, to see if space is still available on Le Barge. Other events, walk-ins welcome; admission fees (if any) noted, and of course, you are welcome to come masked.
Wednesday March 2, 2022: History Is Fun. In the Crocker Memorial Church at 2 p.m. Free for members, $10 for those who haven’t gotten around to becoming members yet. It’s the last of this season’s presentations, and we’re welcoming the Sarasota County Historical Resources folks. They’re the people who guard and catalog our county’s past, from mastodon bones to Bertha Palmer’s rowing machine. Come learn, come ask, come get acquainted with Historical Resources.
Sunday March 6, 2022: Historical Sarasota Bay Cruise. Our favorite narrator, John McCarthy, takes the mic on Le Barge as you glade on Sarasota Bay. Watch history unfold before your eyes. Sip a beverage, nibble on snacks and enjoy the open air and gentle breezes. The boat leaves from Marina Jack at 11 a.m. (loading at 10:30!) and returns around 1 p.m. This is the boat ride you will always remember. There are still some tickets left at the time of writing. $75 per person. Call HSoSC Site Manager, Linda Garcia, at 941-364-9076 for availability.
Tuesday March 8, 2022: Conversations at The Crocker. 7 p.m in the Crocker Memorial Church. The Crocker Church, Lost And Found Years. A fresh look at the revised history of the Crocker Memorial Church. Read more. Presenters are Deborah Walk, Jon Stone and Betsy Lingenheld, board members at HSoSC. Docent tours of the Bidwell-Wood House are available at 6 p.mbefore the show. Free to members; $10 at the door for guests.
Sunday March 20, 2022: Sunday Afternoon Social: 2 p.m. in the Crocker Memorial Church. The Last Lustron. Tom McArdle is a board member at the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation and owner of the last Lustron, a piece of post WWII Americana, in Sarasota. Read about these unusual homes here. Refreshments included in this relaxed, cafe-style event. $5 for members and $10 for guests at the door.
January Local History Events
I’m feeling bad about leaving you in the lurch here at the Historical Society of Sarasota County, what with our two upcoming events (Conversation on Jan 11 and Sunday Afternoon Social on Jan 16) being cancelled, so here’s some substitutes to keep you and your brain occupied until we meet again.
Exercise yourContinue reading
January 11 Conversation at the Crocker
EDIT Feb. 25 2022 Originally schedued for January, we’re happy to be able to present this event on Tuesday March 8 2022 at 7pm. Bookmark our Events Page where you will find the most up-to-date info on gatherings at HSoSC.
This Conversation at The Crocker is an information-rich celebration of the recent project undertaken by HSoSC and the community to rescue the historic Crocker Memorial Church. Three HSoSC board members will present an illustrated three-part program.
Deborah Walk, a professional archivist, writer and former curator of the Ringling Museum of the Circus, will trace the far-back history of a humble wooden worship center that started out with property deeded to Peter Crocker in 1901. She will also talk about the Crocker family, which attempted to establish a named settlement in Sarasota that could have grown into a town except for the death of its namesake.
Jon Stone, a retired architect and avid researcher, will discuss how adaptive re-use has saved this building and made it into a welcoming place for the community to come for public programming organized by the HSOSC, meetings, weddings, memorial services, art classes, musical recitals, play rehearsals and much more. Adaptive re-use for the Crocker started in the 1980s when preservationist Veronica Morgan owned the Crocker. It was located in the Rosemary district at the time. Jon will also discuss how the Crocker and the Bidwell-Wood House came to be curated by our Historical Society.
Betsy Lingenheld will talk about the engineering-construction rescue mission that saved the entire west side of the building. A contractor who has specialized in preservation work, Betsy came to the Historical Society as a member a few years ago and subsequently agreed to join the advisory board and then the board of directors to be the project manager of the huge rescue project, which got started around the time that COVID did. She will talk about the special challenges in working on a historically designated building.
After the three speak, there will be time for audience input with a question and answer segment.
- Conversation at The Crocker
- Tuesday, March 8, 2022 at 7 p.m.
- Crocker Memorial Church, Pioneer Park
- Free to Members
- Guests: $10 at the door
—Submitted by Marsha Fottler
For our complete Calendar of Events, please visit our Events Page.
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.
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.
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.
Timing is Everything
“Timing is everything,” is the mantra of many legendary comedians and actors who agree that when you drop that punch line or make that gesture can be the difference between a successful performance and one that is not. Lately, all of us have been reconsidering our timing. When to return to restaurants, when to have a dinner party, when to wear a mask, when to take a seat in the audience of a live theater production, when to see book club or bridge friends again.
“Because of the recent surge in COVID cases we have had to reevaluate our timing at HSOSC.
“It is the consensus of our Boards that our timing is off for the start of public programming at the Crocker Memorial Church. Consequently, we are postponing the October Conversation at The Crocker. Our season will (hopefully) begin with the November Conversation on Tuesday, November 9, and we will also hope to see you all before the Conversation at our Welcome Back Reception the same evening. Stay tuned to our blog here, our Facebook page, and our website for details.
“Hopefully time will be on our side in November.”
— Marsha Fottler, President, & the Board of Directors & the Advisory Board
Food, glorious Florida Food
Ah, a topic we can all get behind for our February Conversation at the Crocker. Florida food!
What ten foods would you say are uniquely, specially Floridian? Come see if you agree, as our panelists, Dr. Gary Mormino and celebrity chef and food writer Judi Gallagher pique our appetites and tell us all the foodie news on Tuesday February 11 at 7 pm in the Crocker Memorial Church.
Seating is limited for “Follow Our Food”, so come early! And eat first so your tummy won’t growl.
Members are free, not-yet members are $10. Join at the door for a year’s membership (click to get the form to fill out ahead of time) and free admission for $35 single, $60 family.
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.
“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.
Conversations at the Crocker 11/12 at 7:00pm
Three Women who Shaped Sarasota History:
A Conversation at The Crocker
The Historical Society of Sarasota County (HSOSC) presents a program about three women who shaped Sarasota History onTuesday, November 12 starting at 7 p.m. at the Crocker Memorial Church at 1260 12th Street, (Pioneer Park) Sarasota. The program, which is part of the Society’s Conversations at The Crocker series, is free to HSOSC members and students and $10 at the door for guests. Proceeds from Conversations at The Crocker are used to maintain the historic Crocker Memorial Church (1901) and the Bidwell-Wood House (1882). The three women who are the subject of the November Conversation are: Bertha Palmer, Mable Ringling and Marie Selby. Following three illustrated lectures, there will be a question and answer session with the presenters.
April Conversations at The Crocker
APRIL CONVERSATIONS AT THE CROCKER – TUESDAY APRIL 9, 2019 AT 7PM
Who are the Florida Highwaymen and why are they important in the history of American art?
The Florida Highwaymen is the topic that historian (and collector of Highwaymen art) John McCarthy will discuss at a Conversation at The Crocker on Tuesday, April 9, starting at 7 p.m. at the Crocker Memorial Church, Pioneer Park, Sarasota. The program is presented by the Historical Society of Sarasota County (HSOSC) as part of its Conversations at The Crocker series now in its seventh year.
In a richly illustrated presentation, McCarthy illuminates a strange and fascinating African-American art movement. It began in the 1950s with landscape folk-art painters who sold work from the trunks of their cars on Florida’s major highways. It ended with art gallery and museum distinction for about two dozen of these artists who worked under the official art-world radar. These outsiders used oils and painted on Upson board (roof sheeting) and often framed their artwork with cheap hardware store crown molding.
They had no studios or agents and they painted from memory in carports or sheds taking their subjects from what they had seen working in agricultural fields or other jobs of manual labor. Sometimes their paintings were lush imaginative scenes of what they wished their surroundings were. These Highwaymen worked quickly and sold their art cheaply. They sold directly to the public (sometimes from door-to-door) at prices that were usually not in excess of $25.
These traveling Florida Highwaymen mentored and supported one another since most had no formal training in art. None of them achieved fame or success during their most productive days. Today, it’s a different story. The Highwaymen are celebrated and their work is highly collectible. The Florida Highwaymen are considered to be perhaps the last great art movement of the 20th Century.
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.