Do you have… or will you help get… what Linda needs?

LInda Garcia, Site Manager of The Historical Society of Sarasota CountyLinda, our Site Manager and Board member, has issued our Spring Wish List. Might you have/ know of/ be willing to contribute to any of these needs at the Historical Society? She’d love to hear from you!

Maybe it’s just $30 for flashlights. Maybe you can strongarm your talented specialist buddy into tuning the organ. Or maybe it’s something in between. Even something as humble as donating paper goods can help us preserve, protect, and polish the Bidwell-Wood House and the Crocker Church in Pioneer Park.

Click for the Wish List.

After you choose what you can fund, let Linda know if you would like to be acknowledged her on the blog, or if you’d rather keep your good works to yourself. And as they say nowadays, TIA (Thanks in Advance!)

The Herb Garden

by Marsha Fottler, Chair, Landscape Committee

Kitchen garden at the Bidwell-Wood House, Sarasota

The HSOSC herb Garden is near the detached kitchen at the Bidwell-Wood House. In past times (and now) it would have been appropriate to plant an herb and limited vegetable garden near the kitchen for the convenience of the cook. Our garden is mostly for demonstration but this year’s crop of cherry tomatoes is pretty tasty.

After the front-yard garden and the brick pathways were installed at the Bidwell-Wood House (see Florida-friendly plants at the Historical Society) , our members thought it would be educationally useful to build an herb garden near the detached kitchen.

Such a garden would Continue reading

Haven’t you ALWAYS wanted to peek in their drawers?

Here’s what some members of the Historical Society got to do this month: peek in John Ringling’s dresser drawers!

Ron McCarty, Curator of Ca'd'Zan, shows Historical Socierty members John Ringling's haberdashery

Ron McCarty, Curator of Ca’d’Zan, shows Historical Society members John Ringling’s haberdashery. Click to see John Ringling’s ties close up, something you don’t get to see on a public tour. HSoSC’s  private tour sold out almost the same day it was announced to our members. Join HSoSC and get first dibs on tours like these!

We are blessed to have Ron as an avid supporter of the Historical Society of Sarasota County. Join him and hundreds of your fellow citizens and seasonal residents in supporting our mission!

Here’s what we’re all about.

Here’s how to join.

Here’s what’s coming up in the near future!

Like to learn more? Sign up for our free e-newsletter. No nagging, no spam, just a glimpse into how HSoSC helps preserve and present the history of Sarasota County. highlights the Historical Society

Historical Society of Sarasota County on visitflorida.comWe’re famous, a star of the screen! See board member Chuck Resh’s great photo of the Historical Society on VisitFlorida here! And we’d be delighted if you’d share a personal memory of HSoSC  at It’s easy to do and they do not post any info about you.

And stop in soon to our home in Pioneer Park to see our newest addition, Pete’s Garden. You can even dedicate a brick in the walkway to our sorely-missed Sarasota history maven and tireless supporter, Pete Esthus.

Rag rugs, stuffed cats, Florida tote bags (everyone need to tote Florida in a bag, right?) and more….

Shop local at the Historical Society of Sarasota CountyThe public is invited to the Grand Re-Opening of the Historical Society of Sarasota County’s Gift Shop, which is literally filled to the rafters in the detached kitchen of the historic Bidwell-Wood House (1882). The shop will celebrate its opening for the new season with a

Wine & Cheese Reception
Fri., Oct. 5th from 5 – 8 p.m.

The Historical Society’s shop, as portrayed by Ginger Mermin, renowned artist and past Board member of the Society

on the Back Porch of the Bidwell House, where many “Classes on the Back Porch” will be held this upcoming Season.  You’ll find the Historical Society at 1260 12th Street (between N. Trail and Cocoanut Ave.) in Pioneer Park.

Normal business hours for the Gift Shop will be 10:00 – 2:00 Mondays – Fridays and one Saturday per month, beginning on Nov. 17th, during the 2nd Designer Tag Sale held next door in the Crocker Memorial Church (1901).  Each 2nd Tuesday of every month through April, the Shop will also be open from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. preceding the monthly “Conversations in the Crocker” meetings which are also open to the public.

Sarasota’s ”Best Kept Secret”, the Gift Shop, for the past 3 years, has been selling the art, crafts and books of over 75 local artisans, who fashion one-of-a-kind creations using timeless methods, such as hand-woven rag rugs and book marks and hand carved wooden items. But you’ll also find garden art assembled from recycled treasures, soft stuffed cats and Christmas ornaments, shell mirrors for every décor, festive Florida tote bags, photo cards of Sarasota clowns and environs, water colors, and Vintage looking home décor items, books by local authors and much more!

Historical Society of Sarasota County: Locally-crafted birdhousesProceeds from the Gift Shop help support the Historical Society, but up to 70% of the sale prices go to the Artisans, who volunteer their time one day per month in the shop.  If you are ready to sell YOUR artistic, well-made creations, stop by the shop.  We are always looking for new creative vendors.  For more information, please call: 941-364-9076 or email




MATTRESS 4’ X 5’ …………………………… $??? ____


VACUUM CLEANER…………………………… $150.00 ____


WIRELESS MICROPHONE………………….. $300.00 ____

PEW CUSHIONS………………………………. $ ???? ____





 Send checks: HSOSC – PO Box 1632 – Sarasota, FL 34230



HSOSC.COM / 941-364-9076/

Love locally-made, hand-crafted items? We’d love it if you did…

Local and handmade decorative items, gifts, and more in the HSOSC Museum Gift Shop, Sarasota FLThe Museum Shop needs you!

We have a beautiful museum shop with wonderful local artisan wares located in the Bidwell-Wood House stand alone kitchen.  It is open M-F 10a – 2p and during special events, as well as from 6-7pm once a month prior to our fall and winter meetings.  We are looking for that special someone who can oversee the day to day scheduling of volunteers and take care of the needs of running the shop.

UPDATE August 2012: The Museum Shop will be overseen by our immediate past President, Jane Kirschner-Tucillo, who is one of the most persuasive and vivacious people we know. If you would like to be shopkeeper for a day, or if you know of/ are a local crafter who is interesting in showing your wares, please email Jane at or  call the HSOSC office at  941-364-9076 M-F 10a – 2p or email

All aboard the magical Sarasota Time Machine!

Narrated trolley tours of downtown Sarasota by the Historical Society of Sarasota CountyThe Historical Society’s Historic Downtown Trolley Tours are very popular, so be sure to make your reservations quickly! This year’s dates are on our Calendar of Events, which is here.

Have you ever wondered what Sarasota was like before now?

Where people gathered, how they lived, where everyone came from and what they thought and what was here when and what they did…

and why we are so different from the average Florida town?

Well, hop onto our Historic Downtown Sarasota Trolley Tour, AKA the Time Machine, and let our favorite tale-spinner tell you!

These tours are a must for native, resident, winter resident or visitor. A wonderful activity for house guests and business travelers, and part of their education for anyone who makes their living in Sarasota. If you haven’t been privileged enough to participate, do it now!

HISTORIC TROLLEY TOURS: Two hour Historic Trolley Tours. 10:00 AM – Noon. Depart from the Crocker Memorial Church at Historical Society of Sarasota County in Pioneer Park, 1260 12th Street (just east off Tamiami Trail). Parking is free. Seating on the Trolley is limited, so grab your spot now. Advance reservations REQUIRED: email


People & Places: Dinner on the Back Porch

Over 40 guests attended Dinner on the Back Porch, our event that welcomed people to the Historical Society for one-on-one tours of the Bidwell-Wood House and the Crocker Memorial Church and on our incomparable Back Porch, a wonderful buffet dinner  provided by Broadway Bar. This event was Continue reading

“Anything I can do to help?”

Volunteers come in all flavors. What's yours?

Volunteers come in all flavors. What's yours?

Every organization needs volunteers and their help, of course, and all members realize this. Trouble is, we don’t always know what we can do for our organization, and when, and whether our skills and talents can be properly utilized.

So here on the Historical Society site, we’ll let you know if we need buildings swept, brownies baked, or a polished press release created. If you have unrecognized skills that you would like to keep honed by participating, let us know. You can comment here, or you can call the Historical Society’s office, or simply collar a board member at one of our meetings.

Maybe you’re a master storyteller or a graphic artist. A lawyer or a gardener (or maybe your spouse is and is willing to help!) Or you organized bus tours in a former life, or are an expert on retail or costuming or organizing …