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

Conversation at the Crocker: Ringling’s Private Rail Car

PullDavid Duncan working on the Wisconsin, John Ringling's private Pullman car. Hear Mr. Duncan speak at Conversation at the Crocker, January 13. For more info see http://HSoSC.comman car historian and restorer of John Ringling’s private railroad car, the Wisconsin car in Sarasota talks about rail travel of the Gilded Age and how John and Mable Ringling traveled in luxury aboard a fabulous custom car.

“It is rare for a
private railroad car
to be restored with
such care, attention to detail and respect to the historic fabric”

Ride the rails into the past with Pullman Railroad car expert and the restorer of the famed Wisconsin custom railroad car with David W. Duncan when he leads a Conversation at The Crocker, on Tuesday, January 13, starting at 7 p.m. at the Crocker Memorial Church, 1260 12th Street (Pioneer Park), Sarasota.

David W. Duncan is a Pullman Railroad car historian and he has been the consultant on the Wisconsin for The Ringling Museum. His hands-on work and expertise have been instrumental in the restoration process of this historic railroad car. Duncan will be joined on stage by Ron McCarty, Curator of Ca’d’Zan at The Ringling Museum.

A Pullman Car was a standard of luxury in the early part of the 20th century and John Ringling wanted one. Having established a relationship with the Pullman firm by buying second-hand cars for use by the circus, Ringling commissioned Pullman to build a private car for his personal use in 1904. The name Wisconsin was chosen to honor the state that was home to the Ringling brothers and their circus.

On March 16, 1905, Ringling took delivery of the Wisconsin from Pullman’s Calumet Shop. He used the car as a place to stylishly entertain and impress friends, family, business associates and politicians. And the car enabled him to conduct circus business as he traveled across the country. Ringling’s first trip aboard the car was to Baraboo, Wisconsin, the family’s hometown. Later that year, John Ringling and Mable Burton were married in Hoboken, New Jersey.

“It is rare for a private railroad car to be restored with such care, attention to detail and respect to the historic fabric,” says Ron McCarty about Duncan’s work on the Wisconsin. “Now at the museum, visitors to Sarasota can glimpse a means of transportation that only a few ever experienced. This restored jewel of the Gilded Age tells the story of a bygone era and the community can learn all about it at the Conversation at The Crocker on the evening of January 13.” All aboard !

Organized and presented by the Historical Society of Sarasota County and sponsored by SARASOTA Magazine, this public conversation (accompanied by rare photos) is free to Historical Society members and students. Guests, $10. Proceeds help maintain the two historic properties at Pioneer Park, The Bidwell-Wood House (1882, Sarasota’s oldest private residence) and the Crocker Memorial Church (1901).

Give me a tinkle…

Remember when people used to say “give me a tinkle” when they meant “call me on the phone”? Well, we’re asking you to

drop a dime

Give the Historical Society a call to join us for tours and more

Love this phone? Click to see where you can get it.

and call the Historical Society to reserve your spot on this fall’s exciting events. Call us at 941-364-9076 Tues.-Fri. between 10am and 2pm. Mastercard & VISA accepted!

  • There’s over a dozen Classes in the Park you can take, some of which are starting early October (click for the schedule)
  • and the traditional LeBarge Sarasota Bay History Cruise on Sunday November 3 (click to see past cruises)
  • and our special adults-only Pirates evening event on Friday November 15 (details forthcoming, but it involves rum punch, pirate nibbles, song and true pirate lore)
  • and the first Historic Downtown Trolley Tour on Saturday November 16 (click for info), the same day as Pirates & Pioneers Day
  • and the deadline is fast approaching for getting an historic brick dedicated for our Annual Unveiling which will be part of Pirates & Pioneers Day on Saturday November 16 (Buy a brick info and Pirates & Pioneer Day info)
  • High Tea with Art off the Easels will be Sunday January 12 (more info soon. It’s hard to think about watercress sandwiches when there are brigands and privateers wandering through our Pioneer Park campus.)
  • there’s just a few places left on the Ca’d’Zan Backstairs tour, Tuesday January 21, hosted by esteemed Keeper of the House Ron McCarty, who is also a Board Member here at the Historical Society. (See the details of this, and all our upcoming events, here.)

Call us at 941-364-9076 Tues.-Fri. between 10am and 2pm, and our Site Manager Linda Garcia will

get your dance card filled up.

It’s been a long time since phones tinkled instead of vibrated (and who in living memory had a dance card tied to her wrist?), but nonetheless, we’d love to hear from you before all the seats are taken!

(If you want that phone, it’s for sale here.)

Save

It’s going to be a great year!

The 2013-2014 season of events at the Historical Society looks like it’s going to be great! We’re having everything from women’s history to pirates (the real-life history for adults PLUS the fun, PG-rated version!) to yoga classes. And our annual favorites, the Narrated Historic Sarasota Bay Le Barge Cruise and the private tour of Ca’d’Zan.

Here’s the Calendar of Events. Print it out and stick it on the fridge so you don’t miss a thing.

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.