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.
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
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
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.
A $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.
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.
The 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.
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.”
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.
The Historical Society of Sarasota County is presenting an appraisal clinic on Saturday, November 14, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Crocker Memorial Church, 1260 12th Street, Sarasota. The Crocker Memorial Church is in Pioneer Park one block in from N. Tamiami Trail at 12th Street.
People are invited to bring their treasures and have them appraised by certified professionals. The cost is Continue reading
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