Haven’t you always wanted to run away and join the circus?

Historic photo (1910) by Harry A. Atwell as seen on monovisions.com

Haven’t we all, at one point or another, wanted to run away and join the circus? And do it in STYLE? Now, thanks to the Historical Society, you can… at least for the day.

On Wednesday January 22, we’ll let you imagine being a circus performer, a guest of John and Mable… during a private tour of

Courtesy The Ringling

the Wisconsin, John & Mable Ringling’s first private railroad car,

in the Circus Museum at The Ringling.

Our intimate group will get a private tour led by Jennifer Lemmer-Posey, Tibbals Curator of Circus, and Pullman Car Historian David Duncan and will learn about the Ringling life on the rails and about the amazing parade wagons used by the circus in the Ringling era.

Courtesy getrealexclusive.com

“Understanding that the Ringlings didn’t own a home, they rented for many years… one can imagine the Wisconsin was the Ca d’Zan before they built the Ca d’Zan,” says Deborah Walk, retired Ringling assistant director of legacy and circus, and current Society Board member.

This event will help preserve the historic Crocker Church, the Bidwell-Wood House, and our ongoing educational programs. The cost is $75 per person, including lunch at the renowned MUSE restaurant on the museum grounds. Call Linda Garcia, our HSoSC guardian angel at 941-364-9076 from 10am to 2pm Monday-Friday, or email hsosc1@gmail.com right NOW to grab one of the few remaning spots on this once-in-a-lifetime event!

 

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.

Mennonites in Sarasota“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.

Trading mullet for orange seeds: Is that any way to start a city?

The Whitakers: at the Historical Society of Sarasota County
Imagine Sarasota in 1842. Imagine being 21 years old and trading mullet from the Bay to start orange groves. Imagine courting, then marrying a girl from Manatee Village, a long hard ride from your homestead. Now imagine Bill and Mary Jane Whitaker having 11 children in the wilderness.

Your local guide, Lizzy Webb Guptill, portrayed by our very own Kate Holmes, will tell the story of her neighbors in this visual presentation of Sarasota’s Pioneer Family.

Sunday Afternoon Social, A light, entertaining program presented cafe-style in the historic Crocker Church (c.1901) Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 2 pm

Light Refreshments

Tickets at the Door, Seating Limited

Members $5, Future Members $10

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.

 

Presenting the life, times and achievements of Bertha Palmer is Frank Cassell, the award-winning author of Suncoast Empire: Bertha Honore Palmer, Her Family and The Rise of Sarasota. Cassell is President Emeritus and Professor Emeritus at the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg. He is an officer of the Sarasota County Historical Commission and the History and Preservation Coalition of Sarasota County. Cassell’s book will be available for purchase at the Conversation and the author will sign copies after the program.
Bertha Palmer (1849-1918) was one of the best-known and wealthiest women in America. She was an art collector, women’s rights advocate, businesswoman, owner of Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel, and she had homes in Chicago, Paris, and London. In 1910 she traveled to the small settlement of Sarasota. Charmed with the rough place, she ultimately spent much of each year for the rest of her life on one of America’s last frontiers, investing in cattle and farming, creating communities out of marshlands, pine forests, and tropical jungles.

 

Talking about the life and times of Mable Ringling (1875-1929) will be Deborah Walk, a nationally respected archivist, writer, lecturer and the former curator of the Ringling Museum of the Circus. After her marriage to circus impresario John Ringling in 1905 Mable Burton Ringling, a farm girl from the midwest, became a great traveler and travel became her education. In 1923, the Ringlings commissioned the architect Dwight James Baum to build their dream home in Sarasota, modeled on the Doge’s Palace and the Cá d’Oro in Venice. Mable oversaw every aspect of the construction, from the glazing of the tiles to the mixing of the terra cotta. She designed much of the original landscaping on the grounds of the estate, including her Rose Garden and Secret Garden. Mable was the founder in 1927 of the Sarasota Garden Club. Thousands of people from all over the world visit her extravagant mansion on Sarasota Bay annually to experience for a few hours how the wealthiest lived in another time.

 

Presenting the life and times of Marie Selby will be Jeannie Perales, Vice President for Museum Exhibitions, Learning & Engagement at Selby Gardens and the co-author of a book on Selby Gardens. She has been with The Gardens since 2010 where she oversees educational programming, exhibitions, interpretation, and volunteers.

 

Marie Selby (1885-1971) started coming to Sarasota with her wealthy oilman husband William in the early 1920s. They built a home here and indulged their love of the outdoors by buying and working a cattle ranch and by boating. Marie was the first woman in America to cross the country by car and she was an award-winner sailor. She loved camping and gardening and she designed the landscaping for her own property. In 1955 the couple founded the Selby Foundation, that through its generous grants, has enhanced the lives of those who live and visit here.

 

When she died in 1971 Marie Selby left a personal legacy to Sarasota. She left her home and five acres of landscaped grounds for the development of a public botanical garden which opened in 1975. Organized seven years ago by HSOSC, Conversations at The Crocker is a series of interactive discussions that focus on the people, issues and events that have molded Sarasota County and Florida from earliest days. The Historical Society of Sarasota is a membership organization. Dues start at $35 for an annual membership. The Society is guided by a volunteer board of directors. President is Marsha Fottler. For more information, please call Site Manager, Linda Garcia at 364-9076.

Ready for Reservations!

We have the calendar set for next season and we are ready to take your reservations for the Historical Downtown Trolley Tours and the 35th Historical LeBarge Cruise. Call the office at 941-364-9076 Monday – Friday from 10a – 2p to get on board!

Sunday November 3, 2019 from 11a – 1p is the 35th Historical LeBarge Cruise with John McCarthy!

Sue Blue, narator, Historic Downtown Sarasota Trollet Tours from the Historical Society

Saturday morning from 10a – Noon – Join Sue Blue for the Downtown Historical Trolley Tour – DATES:  October 19 / November 16 / December 7 / January 11 / January 25 / February 8 / February 22/

March 14  March 28 / April 4