Let’s gloat a bit…

Well, it’s after Labor Day. That means, for folks Up North, the end of their beach time.

Ah, but for us lucky Sarasota Countians, we get to enjoy our beaches year-round.

Of course that means…

finding a parking spot year-round as well. This photo was taken (hold onto your sunhat!) FORTY YEARS ago, in 1981. (You’d think they’d have solved this problem by now…)

Of course, enjoying our beaches year-round means the quest for a beach-worthy body is perpetual. Here’s some bodies over the years to instill in us all, that all bodies are beautiful (even if all bathing suits aren’t necessarily.)

Okay, I cheated just a bit. Those ladies in 1885 attire were actually shelling Up North, but what they were wearing was what the Scottish settlers would have back in the day.

Okay, enough with the FUN. Here’s some history to enjoy:

Speaking of “History is FUN”… have you saved the dates for our new, mid-afternoon events in the Crocker Memorial Church? December 1, January 6, March 2. See all our upcoming events.

Who’s been an American longer?

How esoteric can we get? A stumper!

Who’s been an American longer, a Pensacolan or a St. Augustinian?

If you guessed the folks in St. Augustine, you’d be right, but possibly for the wrong reason. St. Augustine officially became American on July 10 1821 along with the territory known as East Florida. Pensacola, in west Florida, became part of the U.S.A. a week later, on July 17 1821.

The Historical Society of Sarasota County has a stumper for you! Who's been an American longer....

Have you ANY idea how hard it was to keep those trousers white in 1821?

If you didn’t attend grade, middle, junior high or high school in Florida, you’re possibly mighty confused about what country claimed Florida when. Here’s a quick rundown.

Reference: https://publications.newberry.org/ahcbp/map/map.html#FL

Happy July 4 1921, Sarasota!

4 flagWhile Sarasota was still excited about becoming its own county on July 1st 1921, and celebrating the 4th in grand style, here’s the world they lived in. Some of these 1921 events might surprise you and others amuse. Isn’t history fascinating?

On July 2, 1921, President Warren Harding signed a joint congressional resolution declaring an end to America’s state of war with Germany, Austria and Hungary. (Calvin Coolidge was Vice-President in case you were wondering.)

330px-Bessie_Coleman_in_1923Brave Bessie: Bessie Coleman was an early American civil aviator. She was the first African-American woman and first Native American to hold Continue reading

A 1926 View of Florida

“A rapidly increasing number whom habit has taken year after year to the Mediterranean resorts are coming to know that here in Florida is to be found a natural loveliness that is incomparable, coupled with a magnificence of architectural development, a diversity of entertainment, and a catering to creature comforts unobtainable elsewhere

Published in the English magazine, Country Life, in 1926, this Ernest Clegg map is lovely. The typography! The sailing ships and denizens of the deep!

Look at the gorgeous, expansive Everglades… but notice: no Sarasota. Arcadia, yes, Punta Gorda, even Venice (“On June 10, 1926, the first street in Venice opened” as this Venice history says). My only possible explanation for this oversight is that Ernest held Sarasota so dear, he didn’t want anyone else to know about it…

Enjoy a close-up with a responsive view of this map.

Sunshine Springs and Gardens

Well, I was just going to share with you, the scans Rex Carr posted of the program for the opening of a Sarasota attraction you might never have heard of.

But the whole thing got a bit out of hand so I had to make it into a full-length article. It’s on our Articles Page now, and well-worth your time (and mine!) Go read. Enjoy.

Sparkly Saturday Shebang March 27 2021

The Historical Society of Sarasota County's Annual Sparkly Saturday now on March 27 2021
Originally scheduled in February; now the last Saturday in March

Sparkly Saturday Shebang, Sat. March 27

Our Annual Sparkly Saturday, with incredible jewelry in conjunction with Jewelry to the Rescue, is a Shebang this year, with a tag sale on the Bidwell-Wood House open-air porches and a lawn full of artists, crafters, and authors on our breezy campus in beautiful Pioneer Park.

Don’t miss this chance to stroll in the sunshine, greet friends you’ve missed, and shop to help HSoSC survive in these fiscal-challenging days. If you’re not in the market for more material goods, that’s okay… come anyway, enjoy the companionship, and bring a few bucks for the donations jars. Remember, it costs the Society $128 a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks+ since this pandemic shut our doors, just to keep our historic buildings safe. 

Bring your mad money and wear your mask!

You wouldn’t recognize the place.

An Historical Society Facebook follower, Lynne Armington, sent us this neat photo of Bird Key’s raw development stage with this note:

Dad discovered Bird Key being dredged up out of Sarasota Bay, and decided to build on it in 1960. $48,000 for the lot and concrete construction three bedroom, two bath one-story home. We looked across the Bay to a little shack restaurant called Marina Jack’s. 

Bird Key, 1960, from the Historical Society of Sarasota County

Actually, the family’s view was of Marina Mar, the original name for what became Marina Jack’s. Here’s what Marina Jack’s has to say about their founding:

Back in the day, Marina Jack was actually Marina Mar. Marina Mar was built in 1963 with city-approved plans for an upscale restaurant, shops, snack bar, and 143 boat slips. The establishment soon failed and was taken over by Jack Graham in 1968, who created what is now known as Marina Jack. 

Ain’t history grand? Let us know if you and your family have some unique and undiscovered views of our county’s past, and we’ll share them with others.

You, too, can make history.

How do we know what we know?

Research. And more research. And double-checking to make sure that what we present to the reading/ viewing audience is not only correct, but applicable to the topic we’re discussing,

Best resources for getting the facts, and the tone, of past happenings right? Primary sources. And guess what?

You. Are. A. Primary. Resource.

That diary you kept in grade school (or did you call it elementary school, or primary school? Your diary might be the crucial clue for regional word choice.)

Example of a family photo to be used as a primary source by historians

Family photos give real-life clues about fashion.

Your college transcript, the photos of your first car in front of your first apartment. Your snaps of the relatives at a wedding. Maybe even those films of the Christmas parade or the audio tapes of your uncles reminiscing about ice-fishing on the Great Lakes.

You can digitize old papers (here’s how if you use a MAC computer and here’s how if you have Adobe Acrobat), transcribe your (admittedly less-than-Palmer-Method) handwriting into text, make sure those generation-back relatives’ images are correctly captioned. You can contact the historical society or government archives* in the town you grew up in/ camped near/ visited, to ask what they can use.

You can even help preserve web pages for future researchers. It’s as easy as a few clicks. Read how on The Wayback Machine.

Interested in preserving physical artifacts for your family? Explore our series You Can Do It.

* We at the Historical Society of Sarasota County do not have the resources to preserve artifacts. A guide to what the Venice Museum and Archives can accept is here. Sarasota County’s Historical Resources contact info is here. Florida Memory is interested in some items as well; read their FAQs here.

Colorful Reminders of History

Decorators are always talking about a POP of color to enliven your rooms. “Well,” says your Intrepid Historical Society Blogger, “What better color for a POP than orange.” And how perfect is orange for a Florida decorating scheme? Color-appropriate what with the blues and greens we often use to remind us of the beauty outdoors…

and history-appropriate as well, since many of the pioneers in this area came here to grow citrus?

Which leads me to the point I am attempting to make. There’s nothing more fun than Continue reading

What a wonderful holiday it’s been

There’s just SO many holiday wishes we here at the Historical Society want to send you, we decided we’d send you one every day this week! Hope that means your festivities will be seven times as merry… even if perhaps, the pandemic has cramped your style. Here’s to looking forward to seeing this corona virus be history soon.  Happy Holidays from the Historical Society of Sarasota County

May your day be merry and bright

There’s just SO many holiday wishes we here at the Historical Society want to send you, we decided we’d send you one every day this week! Hope that means your festivities will be seven times as merry… even if perhaps, the pandemic has cramped your style. Here’s to looking forward to seeing this corona virus be history soon.

That’s the tree in the parlor of the Bidwell-Wood house. Isn’t it pretty? But this next one will make you laugh, and everyone needs at least TWO Christmas trees in their life.

Her tinsel’s not even in a tangle.

 

Where sunshine drives away the gloom…

There’s just SO many holiday wishes we here at the Historical Society want to send you, we decided we’d send you one every day this week! Hope that means your festivities will be seven times as merry… even if perhaps, the pandemic has cramped your style. Here’s to looking forward to seeing this corona virus be history soon.

Christmas Virtual Reality, 1889 style…

There’s just SO many holiday wishes we here at the Historical Society want to send you, we decided we’d send you one every day this week! Hope that means your festivities will be seven times as merry… even if perhaps, the pandemic has cramped your style. Here’s to looking forward to seeing this corona virus be history soon.

 

If you were a good little child and Santa had a stereopticon for you in his sack, you could see scenes like this in 3D!

(Stereopticon photo courtesy of the Johnstown Flood Museum.)