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

#BeTheOne: You can preserve history!

Help the Historical Society of Sarasota County Preserve History

Lost: The Bispham-Wilson Home stood until recently near the corner of Tamiami Trail and Proctor Road. The Bispham Dairy served the Sarasota area for 65 years. Razed 2014-2015. More.

Lost: El Vernona Hotel> John Ringling Hotel> John Ringling Towers. Built in the 1920s as the El Vernona Hotel by Owens Burns, and named after his wife, Vernona, the hotel was the center of glamour and activity in Sarasota. Razed 1998. More.

Saved: The Bidwell-Wood House was built in 1882. It is now revitalized as the centerpiece of the Historical Society of Sarasota County, located in its new home in Pioneer Park at 1260 12th Street, Sarasota. 

Saved: Crocker Memorial Church, built in 1901 as a place of worship and gathering spot, continues into the 21st century repurposed as a community amenity next to the Bidwell-Wood House in Pioneer Park.

You too can #BeTheOne to help preserve our county history, by participating in the upcoming Giving Challenge 2016.

If you miss the Giving Challenge, we always welcome your membership and participation in the Society.

Photo credits: Bispham-Wilson Historic District, By Ebyabe – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11911031
El Vernona Hotel> John Ringling Hotel> John Ringling Towers, as seen on SarasotaHistoryAlive.com
Bidwell-Wood House, Greg Wilson Photography
Crocker Memorial Church, Historical Society Archive

Save

Save

Save

HSoSC in Harmony with GuitarSarasota

We are very excited to have our historic Crocker Memorial Church selected as the venue for six classical guitar mini-concerts/ lectures by GuitarSarasota.org.

Founder of Guitar Sarasota, Thomas Koch

Founder of Guitar Sarasota, Thomas Koch

At 7:30pm on the second Monday of the month in our Crocker Memorial Church, November through April, professional musicians from Sarasota/Bradenton, Miami, Tallahassee, and beyond, will perform, educate, and promote the appreciation and cultural significance of the classical guitar as a solo and chamber music instrument.

GuitarSarasota’s performances at Crocker Memorial Church are open to the public and free of charge. Seating is open so come early!

This series, with its goal to perform and to engage the audience in an enlightening conversation with the artists, is a perfect fit with our Conversations at the Crocker, which is on the second Tuesday of the month. For the schedule of Conversations at the Crocker, see our Events Page.

Guitar Sarasota also hosts the 2016-2017 International Classical Guitar Season with four events. Tickets may be purchased for these starting on November 5.  Read more.

Thank you, Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation!

The Historical Society of Sarasota Cpunty's campus in Pioneer Park, captured by Greg WilsonA $5,000 grant has been received to help fund improvements to the interior of the historic Crocker Memorial Church (1901). The grant comes from the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation.

“This grant will help bring Crocker Church back to what it looked like in 1901 when Peter Crocker built it as a community gathering place and for worship,” said Howard Rosenthal, President of the Historical Society.

“Preservation architects Greg Hall and Linda Stevenson did an analysis of the Crocker interior and suggested ways that we could improve and stabilize the building. We are following those recommendations with the Alliance grant.

“One of the best things about this grant is that it demonstrates how the Alliance fulfills its mission to preserve historic structures in Sarasota County and it certainly furthers our mission as we curate the Crocker Memorial Church building and the Bidwell-Wood House (1882) for educational outreach and as gathering places for community events that celebrate history.”

Events are held in both buildings on the Historical Society’s campus in Pioneer Park. Civic meetings, book clubs, theatrical performances, monthly history-oriented programs organized by HSOSC, art shows and much more keep our locale active and engaging. Both buildings were moved from other locations to Pioneer Park by the City of Sarasota in 2006 and placed under the protection of the Historical Society of Sarasota County, a 450-member organization.

Over the past few years the Crocker Memorial Church has become a destination for small country weddings with the reception on the front and back porches of the Bidwell-Wood House. With the structural improvements made possible by the Alliance grant of $5,000, the Crocker Church building (which was decommissioned as a church in 2006) will become even more accessible to the community.

Save

Earlye Musicke in Historic Crocker Church

On Tuesday March 22, 2016 the Sarasota Earlye Musicke Consort will be performing for the 4th season in a row for members and guests of the Historical Society of Sarasota County.  The program will be presented at the Crocker Memorial Church in Pioneer Park,  1260 12th Street (between US41 and Cocoanut Avenue) beginning at 7pm.

Earlye Musick Consort will perform at Historical Society of Saraspota County on March 22 2016The members of this consort, performing in period costume, play music dating from the 14th century to the 21st century on recorders and viols. This concert is free for HSOSC members; a $10 donation is requested from guests.  The group is led by Charlotte Trautwein.

The Sarasota Earlye Musicke Consort was recently awarded a 15 year certificate by the National American Recorder Society, recognizing the ensemble’s contribution to Sarasota and the surrounding communities.  The Sarasota chapter of ARS recently hosted the national board meetings for ARS at the Crocker Memorial Church, where they gather for class and group playing for intermediate and advanced players every week.

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.