Secrets of an American Palace: April’s Conversation at the Crocker

Ron McCarty, Keeper and Curator of Ca’ d’Zan, Leads a Conversation and Shows Rare Photos of the Famous Mansion he calls “Mable’s House.”

No one is more aware of the importance of a great house museum to a specific community and to the wider world than Ron McCarty, the Keeper and Curator of Ca’ d’Zan, the fabulous American palace John and Mable Ringling built on Sarasota’s bayfront in the late 1920s. McCarty has been employed by the Ringling Museum longer than anyone in the history of the museum and will share Continue reading

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Surprising Facts and Stories about Florida

Surprising Facts and Stories about Florida are Revealed

Esteemed archaeologist, Marion Almy and acclaimed historian,  Janet Snyder Matthews, longtime friends of the Historical Society and experts on Florida, come together on the stage of the Crocker Memorial Church for an informal conversation and photographic presentation. They will chat about the things that fascinate them about Florida. Come and be fascinated too!

 

These two experts will share facts and stories and rare Continue reading

The Great Developers, 1920s and Today

The Great Developers, 1920s and Today is the topic for the upcoming Conversation at The Crocker

Real Estate expert Harold Bubil will converse with three developers who have had a major impact on shaping modern Sarasota. What is the process of development? Their limits? How do they survive boom and bust?

In many ways the history of Sarasota, and indeed all of Florida, is the history of real estate. And playing a major role in that long saga of boom, bust, progress and preservation are the great developers of the past, recent past and present.

Are developers visionaries who shape the land for progress, or villains who rape the land for profit? “Nothing so absolute or dramatic,” says Harold Bubil, Real Estate Editor at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. He will lead a conversation about the influence of great developers who have come to Florida to realize personal ambitions and specific visions of towns and communities rising from the sand.

This conversation takes place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9, at the Crocker Memorial Church, 1260 12th Street in Sarasota’s Pioneer Park. The event is free to Historical Society members and students and $10 for guests who may pay at the door.

Joining the conversation Continue reading

Historical vegetables, storm water management, and birds. Lots and lots of birds.

What is the area known as the Celery Fields and why was it historically important? And why is it so significant to Sarasota’s health and economy today?

Two naturalists from the Sarasota Audubon Society, Jeanne Dubi and Barry Gerber, will entertain and enlighten us with an illustrated presentation, “Celery Fields, Past, Present and Future” at the January Conversation at The Crocker, Tuesday, January 12, 2016, starting at 7 p.m.

Mother and chick at the Celery Fields. I don't know what bird this is. Guess I'll be going to the January Conversation at the Crocker on Tuesday Jan. 12, 2016 at 7pm!

Mother and chick at the Celery Fields. I don’t know what bird this is. Guess I’ll be going to the January Conversation at the Crocker on Tuesday Jan. 12, 2016 at 7pm!

Jeanne Dubi is Continue reading

Have a seat… thanks to philanthropy

HSoSC gets chairs for more seating at our Conversations at the Crocker in Sarasota!

They may not look like much to you, but they’re a dream come true for the Historical Society!

A grant from the Frances T. Bourne Fund at The Community Foundation of Sarasota County has provided for the purchase of chairs to expand our seating capacity in the Crocker Memorial Church (1901) and in the Bidwell-Wood House (1882). More seating for members meetings, for weddings, seminars, music and theatrical rehearsals, for local club meetings and for community-wide events, such as Conversations at The Crocker.

“We have never been able to accommodate as many people as come to our programs. ” said Site Manager Linda Garcia. “We use, of course, the original wooden pews made by early Sarasota settler Peter Crocker and the stackable chairs we already own, but we have had standing-room-only occasions and that led to our submitting a proposal to the Community Foundation. We are so grateful that they acknowledged our need and approved the funds for additional chairs. Our members and the whole community will benefit.”

The Historical Society of Sarasota County Vic-=President Marsha Fottlerworks hard, even in pink shorts!

Our Vice-President, Marsha Fottler, came dressed to work,  the day the chairs arrived via semi!

Besides serving the needs of the Historical Society, the Crocker Memorial Church building is available for rental and is equipped with a sound system, projector, black-out shades and now seating for 150. The historic structure is a popular destination for weddings and other celebratory events. The Historical Society considers the Crocker a model of adaptive use. Since 1901 it has been in constant use, first as a house of worship and now as a place that HSOSC and the Sarasota community use for a variety of programs and events. The Crocker has been preserved by being useful over a long span of time.

Funding for these chairs provided by the Frances T. Bourne Fund of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

 

Historic Treasures Lost and Preserved by Jeff LaHurd: Conversation at the Crocker

One of the threads that ties old Sarasota County to the new is the continuing struggle concerning which historical buildings and properties should be preserved and which ones demolished as a necessary sacrifice to progress, modernization and growth. Award-winning author and historian Jeff LaHurd considers both sides of the issue when he Continue reading

Miakka? Myakka? Learn which when and why at Conversation at the Crocker.

Conversations at The Crocker Opens 4th Season With the Story of the Myakka River

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The Miakka, the Myakka. It’s more than a river as Historical Society members and guests will discover during the season opener of Conversations at The Crocker on Tuesday, October 13 starting at 7 p.m. at the Crocker Memorial Church.
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Retired New College director of environmental sciences Jono Miller will lead a conversation on the topic “Myakka, More Than a River,” as he engages in conversation experts John McCarthy, Paula Benshoff and Chris Oliver. In addition, the 14-minute film “Moods of the Miakka” will be shown and discussed.
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Conversations are free to all HSOSC members and students. Guests, $10, payable at the door. There will be a members-only reception prior to the Conversation on the back porch of the Bidwell-Wood House starting at 5:30 p.m.  For more information, contact Linda Garcia, Site Manager, (941) 364-9076.
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This season’s Conversations. Save the dates!

Tuesday, October 13Myakka, More Than A River. Jono Miller, John McCarthy, Chris Oliver and Paula Benshoff. Also the 14-minute film “Moods of Miakka.”
Tuesday, November 10Sarasota Treasures Lost & Preserved. Jeff LaHurd.
Tuesday, January 12A Fantastic Flock, the history of birds and birding on the Gulf Coast. Presentation by Jean Dubi of Audubon Society.
Tuesday, February 9The Great Developers Past & Present. Harold Bubil.
Tuesday, March 8Fascinating Florida. Janet Snyder Mathews and Marion Almay.
Tuesday, April 12Historical Perspectives Through Local MuseumsCurators from small specialty museums talk about the challenges and joys of preserving the history, culture and artifacts of past times.

Our complete Calendar of Events.

Photo Credit: B. Paul Patterson on http://www.sarasota.wateratlas.usf.edu/