How to Save a Hundred-year-old Wooden Building

There are five crucial steps to saving this building. And five good reasons for doing so.

The Crocker Memorial Church has withstood hurricanes, scorching sun and high winds, termites, and the wear and tear of an old wooden building in constant use. The Crocker has been moved three times to elude demolition and in 2006 this historic building came to rest in Pioneer Park under the curatorship of HSOSC. We are stewards of living history and are honored to protect and maintain this link with Florida’s past.

We have raised half the cost of the needed repairs but nothing can start until we have it all at hand. Even with the pandemic forcing us to make difficult financial decisions, and eliminating the ability to raise funds through rental fees, meeting admissions and in-person donations, we have kept those funds sacrosanct and are asking for the community to help us obtain the full cost of keeping this building from ruin.

Here’s what we are looking at:

The 5 Crucial Steps

1. Replace the foundation retaining wall and perimeter beam supporting the west side of the building. This also includes re-grading from the west wall to the parking lot to ensure proper drainage. This foundation project is the most complex, costly and crucial part of the entire rescue project and must be done before anything else.
2. Repair or replace all damaged floor joists.
3. Repair or replace all wood siding as needed.
4. Paint exterior west side of the Crocker Memorial Church.
5. Repair and re-install the six windows on the west side of the building.

Why would we care to protect, preserve, and present a 100-year-old building in Sarasota County?

The 5 Good Reasons

1. The Crocker Memorial Church is a heritage building. Peter Crocker built his home here. Shortly thereafter, he built a church as a meeting place, hand-constructing the pews we still use for seating.
2. This building is so important that it was moved a number of times as our community grew, to save it from destruction. It now rests comfortably in Pioneer Park, giving a glimpse of another time to our 21st-century residents and visitors.
3. This building tells the tale of the importance of gathering together even when the community numbered less than a thousand people.
4. Our community uses this building for gatherings, meetings, and celebrations year-round.
5. This building helps the Historical Society receive income to keep both it and the Bidwell-Wood House safe for future generations.

Update January 9 2021: We are thrilled to announce that our goal is almost met! If you’ve hesitated because it seems like we’ll never be able to Save the Crocker, take us over the top with your participation. Click here and be PROUD it was your dollars that saved Sarasota history.

Please demonstrate your support for this massive renewal of the Crocker Memorial Church so that it can continue to serve our community for another century and beyond. We’ve highlighted the priority items above, but it’s not the whole story. A detailed list of what this massive rescue project entails is available at HSOSC. Construction and materials costs rise every day that we delay. 

Remember, we have already raised half of the $100,000 needed to preserve our heritage as a community. Your donation will absolutely make a difference in a rescue mission that is within our reach. You can donate via check to us at 1260 12th Street, Sarasota FL 34230, call our Site Manager Linda Garcia during her covid-curtailed office hours of 10-2 Tuesdays and Fridays to use a credit card, or use Paypal right now. You can even pledge a comfortable monthly donation there if you like.

Cooking through history.

Our mission during The Great Pause has been to keep you smiling, keep you thinking about a bit of history… and to keep you well-fed on our Facebook page . Here’s a quick sample of our daily Pantry Recipes, posted around 5 PM, and we can manage to intertwine a little of the history of eating….

Feeding hungry college students for over 100 years:

This heritage dish goes by multiple names, the Historical Society of Sarasota County found out.

Click to see what folks across the country call this humble casserole.

It’s a basic. Canned salmon has been available since the Civil War, and folks ordered canned goods from Sears Roebuck in Sarasota County in the 1880s and beyond.

Salmon patties have be a mainstay since canned goods were invented, says the Historical Society of Sarasota County.

Click to see just how many folks truly LIKE salmon patties (there’s a great contributed recipe for salmon salad in the comments there, too.)

Now this recipe for Magic Ribs might have been cooked up by Shakespeare’s three witches. Well, maybe not. The 2 major ingredients wouldn’t be invented until centuries later:

Click for the magic. They taste much more complex than their two common-place ingredients.

It’s just 15 seconds, but we think this little video about The Giving Challenge 2020 will help us all think #People1st #ThenBuildings

For The Giving Challenge 2020, think #People1st #ThenBuildings

Click to see how to #BeTheOne #UntilThisIsDone

On our page, we also greet you every morning with a Rise and Shine message, offer you a smile or two, and send you a relaxing soothing image to wish you sweet dreams. Follow the Historical Society page here.  And for a slightly more world-wise page, follow our Sara de Sota page as well.

Please view our video about how we can participate in the 2020 Giving Challenge the end of this month.

A history interlude

We’re having hard times right now, and if you spend ANY time online the media seem to make it even scarier. So we’ve dedicated our Facebook page to help you cope, to make you smile, to maybe even teach you a little history.

We know not everyone visits Facebook, so here’s some of or recent posts focusing on history. Stay tuned… soon we’ll share some of the best Pantry Recipe posts too!

Everyone enjoys a good video, right?

A video found by The Historical Society of Sarasota County

Click to view The Florida Dream.

It’s local. Two towns, both vitally important to Sarasota County history:

Cortez and Cedar Key both played roles in Sarasota County history

Click to visit Cortez and Cedar Key. Can you smell the fresh air and hear the water?

It’s great to learn, but sometimes it’s fun to look back just a few years:

Remember this phone?

Remembering when phone manners  were a thing.

It’s just 15 seconds, but we think this little video about The Giving Challenge 2020 will help us all think #People1st #ThenBuildings

For The Giving Challenge 2020, think #People1st #ThenBuildings

Click to see how to #BeTheOne #UntilThisIsDone

On our page, we also greet you every morning with a Rise and Shine message, offer you a smile or two, and send you a relaxing soothing image to wish you sweet dreams. Follow the Historical Society page here.  And for a slightly more world-wise page, follow our Sara de Sota page as well.

Please view our video about how we can participate in the 2020 Giving Challenge the end of this month.

Making History Together during COV-ID 19

Marsha Fottler, President, Historical Society of Sarasota County

Marsha Fottler, President, The Historical Society of Sarasota County

At The Historical Society of Sarasota County, we are, like everyone else, struggling to get through these perilous and historic days with both good sense for safety and optimism that when it’s all over, we will emerge as stronger people ready to restore our lives and institutions. We are once again participating in the community-wide Giving Challenge later in April. But, we want you to know how we are approaching this fund-raising project and we want to express to all of you the feelings of the Board of Directors and the Advisory Board.

We’ve made a simple message about the upcoming 2020 Giving Challenge and how you can help our community survive and prosper with your participation. Click here.

The 2020 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation.

Spreading a little happiness online

We’re having hard times right now, and if you spend ANY time online the media seem to make it even scarier. So we’ve dedicated our Facebook page to help you cope, to make you smile, to maybe even teach you a little history. Here’s what we’re doing :

We’re taking an historical stance on this historic event, the COV-19 crisis. As you know, people have been through lots worse, under scarier conditions throughout history, and even within the lifetimes of most of us.

We will get through this. And with that in mind, HSoSC will be posting things to help you get through, enlighten you, occupy you, amuse you and make you wonder.

Bookmark, like, share, comment, tell your friends that if they want some neighborly ideas, follow us

… until COV-19 itself becomes history!

We know not everyone visits Facebook, so here’s some of the most popular light-hearted posts. Stay tuned… tomorrow, we’ll show you some of the best historical posts too!

Since today is Easter, how about:

 

Bunny Butt Pancakes

The perfect Easter breakfast … or even supper.

 

Easter COV-ID 19 masks

Well, we can’t be in the Easter parade this year but we can get in the Easter-bonnet mood!

 

Getting ready

We gotta laugh at ourselves (or everyone else will.)

 

The Great Pause Shopping Tips

Why, we even include shopping tips for our followers!

On our page, we also greet you every morning with a Rise and Shine message, offer you a daily Pantry Recipe, and send you a relaxing soothing image to wish you sweet dreams. Follow the Historical Society page here.  And for a slightly more world-wise page, follow our Sara de Sota page as well.

And do not miss our video about how we as a Society will be participating in the 2020 Giving Challenge  the end of this month. If you click on just one click, make it this one.

We are living in historic times.

A message during the COVID-19 pandemic from our Board of Directors.

The Historical Society and the 2020 Giving Challenge, Sarasota

We are living in historic times. You don’t need the Historical Society of Sarasota County to tell you this, I know. But I do want to tell you something that is vitally important…

The 2020 Giving Challenge is presented
by the Community Foundation of Sarasota
County with giving strengthened by
The Patterson Foundation.

Please don’t let the Crocker Memorial Church die.

The Historical Society and indeed, our whole county, can be proud that we have preserved the Crocker Memorial Church for continual use as a gathering place for our community.

Other communities have not been so fortunate. On the left, below, Island Grove Church as seen on Abandoned Florida and on the right, our vibrant, attractive Crocker Memorial Church at 1260 12th Street in Sarasota.191219exterior blog

Inside, this is what Island Grove looks like, compared to ours.

191219 interior

But old wooden buildings don’t stay pristine forever, especially in our climate. Thank goodness we have the expertise and the ability to make sure that the issues with our beloved Crocker Memorial Church, which unfortunately include replacing the major support beam under the west wall, can be historically corrected. Here’s where we are today, awaiting the raising of funds.

west wall 2019

Learn more about the challenge we face.

As you can imagine, replacing the support beam and refreshing the siding and reinstalling the (carefully stored for now) original windows on the west wall of the building will take a lot of money, all of which must be raised by the Historical Society.

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 our secure “Donate” button on our sidebar. You can even pledge a monthly amount if you choose. Thank you for helping keep the Crocker Memorial Church whole and healthy for today, and for all the tomorrows.