From the Office: 2014 Summer Interns

Linda Garcia, our invaluable Site Manager, writes about the wonders of our summer interns:

open quoteWe were contacted last winter by a 2nd year New College History student, Joy Feagan, to see if we would be interested in a summer intern. We had never had that opportunity in the past so we Continue reading

Posted in Participate, People & Places | Leave a comment

Today in History: A Mother’s Gentle Nudge

On August 18, 1920, Tennessee passed the proposed 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by a one-vote margin, becoming the 36th state to ratify the measure and clearing the way for its official adoption eight days later.

Can you imagine NOT "giving the vote" to a woman like this?

Can you imagine NOT “giving the vote” to a woman like this?

Incredibly, women’s suffrage in the United States ultimately hinged on an 11th-hour change of heart by a young state legislator with a very powerful mother.

“I know that a mother’s advice is always safest for her boy to follow,” he explained, “and my mother wanted me to vote for ratification.” Read about it.

(Thanks to this family web site for the image of a strong woman c. 1920.)

Posted in This Day in History | 2 Comments

113 years of hard sitting is coming to an end….

When the Crocker Memorial Church was just 12 years old, in 1913, 63 of Sarasota’s women came together and formed The Woman’s Club of Sarasota. Their service to our community can be summed up by this quote on their brochure:

The good works of life consist of many small units.

We are delighted to announce that The Woman’s Club has taken on a “small unit” for the Crocker Church: they are Continue reading

Posted in Happening Now, VIPs | 1 Comment

A two-fer of History in Pioneer Park!

The Whitaker Cemetery, from 1879, is next door to the Historical Society's Pioneer Park campus at 1260 12th Street, just east of Tamiami Trail.

Photo courtesy of our neighbor, the DAR.

The Bidwell-Wood House (1882) and the Crocker Memorial Church (1901) might seem reason enough to visit Pioneer Park, but did you know that next door is the The Pioneer Whitaker Cemetery?

It is the first cemetery in Sarasota , and the burial site of the first white settlers in the County. The Whitaker Pioneer Cemetery continues to be the burial site for the Whitaker family. More on the Whitaker Cemetery.

Posted in Our Historical Peers, People & Places | Leave a comment

Planning the 2014-2015 events at HSoSC

Souvenir of Sarasota FLYour board and interested members are currently planning the upcoming season’s events. Be sure to sign up for email notification of our blog posts (top of the right-hand column on this page, where it says “Get us by email”) so you stay abreast of all the great talks, gatherings, events and openings they have planned for you!

Here’s some tentative plans, in addition to the wonderful roster of Conversations at the Crocker that we present the second Tuesday of each month, from October 2014 through April 2015. Topics and participants will be announced as soon as all our wonderful speakers commit!

Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014  11a – 1p. Narrated Historic Sarasota Bay Annual Le Barge Cruise narrated by John McCarthy, noted Sarasota Historian. $40.00 per person.  $50.00 VIP Reservations a must! (Again in March for your visitors)

Saturday, Nov. 15th Our very popular Designer Tag Sale!  Donated items from local designers available for purchase in the Crocker Memorial Church from 10a – 3p. (And of course, we’ll be looking for donations to this sale from members and supporters, so start your pile of donations now! Here’s what we can and cannot use, from our last sale.)

Sunday, Jan. 11th   2-4p.  High Tea & Paintings Off Easel – Plein Air Artists will be painting outside while we sip tea inside. Artwork may be purchased off the walls or “off the easel” directly from the artist. Reservations a Must !!  $25

Tuesday, January 20, 2015Private Tour of Ca’d’Zan with Ron McCarty.  Available to HSOSC members only – $75 includes lunch at Treviso. This is always a sell-out, so be sure to get your reservations in early.

BROWN BAG BOOK LUNCHES – New this season – bring your lunch and enjoy local authors on Wednesdays from 11a – 2p  December  17 – Bea Hartman,  January 21 – Charles Sobchzak,  February 18 – Liz Coursen,  March 18 – Henry Duggan

Sue Blue’s HISTORIC TROLLEY TOURS, Two hour Saturday Downtown Historic Tour 10a – Noon  Depart from the Crocker Memorial Church.  Reservations Required. Tours offered on Oct 25th, Nov 15th, Dec 6th, and in 2015: Jan 3rd, Jan 24th, Feb 14th, Mar 7th, Mar 28th and Apr 18th  $25 Per Person

Posted in Coming Soon, History Fun, Participate | Leave a comment

Florida… audibly!

Back in the day (this photo is from the 1920’s) buying a radio was important enough to be transacted in a showroom complete with Oriental rugs.

Miami radio shop, 1920's, from floridamemory.comMusic is more accessible to us today. It’s in our cars, our pockets, and on our phones. And thanks to Continue reading

Posted in History Fun | Leave a comment

Siesta Beach, July 4 1923

How hot were the sands of Siesta on July 4 1923?

112 mph, that’s how hot!

Mr. O’Neal came within 3 MPH of breaking the world’s motorcycle speed record as he roared down Sarasota (Siesta) Key Beach on his Harley Davidson at 112 MPH. This was the feature event in the American Legion’s July 4th Carnival.
— from Yesterday’s Sarasota by J. Whitcomb Rylee in conjunction with The Historical Society of Sarasota County

Harley-Davidson motorcycle almost beat the world record on Siesta Beach in 1923 ---HSoSC.com

Photo from antiquemotorcycle.org

More on the Independence Day celebrations in Sarasota on The Journals of Yesteryear at sarasotahistoryalive.com

Posted in History Fun | 1 Comment

See how our gardens grow at HSoSC

The land surrounding the Bidwell-Wood House (1882) and the Crocker Memorial Church (1901) started out as barren park land. But with the help, donations, and labor of our members and supporters, our garden is growing!

Below: Bleeding Heart is the vine that is climbing up the west side of the front porch at the Bidwell Wood House. Like most of the other plants in the garden, it was donated. A landscape committee tends the garden, but friends who find satisfaction (and exercise) in pulling weeds, pruning and planting are always welcome to join in.

Bleeding Heart is the vine that is climbing up the west side of the front porch at the Bidwell Wood House. Like most of the other plants in the garden, it was donated. A landscape committee tends the garden, but friends who find satisfaction (and exercise) in pulling weeds, pruning and planting are always welcome to join in.

Below: Bright red pentas line the brick path leading from parking area to the front porch of the Bidwell-Wood House in Pioneer Park, the home of the Historical Society. The landscape committee chose red flowers to reference the red front door of the Crocker Memorial Church. Pentas love full sun, can get by with minimal watering and are hardy.

 Bright red pentas line the brick path leading from parking area to the front porch of the Bidwell-Wood House in Pioneer Park, the home of the Historical Society. The landscape committee chose red flowers to reference the red front door of the Crocker Memorial Church. Pentas love full sun, can get by with minimal watering and are hardy.

Below: Currently,we have one hibiscus bush in the members garden at the Historical Society. It’s on the east side of the Bidwell-Wood House near the front porch. This bush was donated to the garden by a member. That’s how we get most of our plants, so if you have a cutting or a plant that is Florida friendly and needs a home, bring it to Pioneer Park and add to the botanical history that is growing strong.

 Currently,we have one hibiscus bush in the members garden at the Historical Society. It's on the east side of the Bidwell-Wood House near the front porch. This bush was donated to the garden by a member. That's how we get most of our plants, so if you have a cutting or a plant that is Florida friendly and needs a home, bring it to Pioneer Park and add to the botanical history that is growing strong.

Below: Perhaps you’ve noticed the brick walkways in our garden. You can be a part of the garden with your sponsorship of a brick, in your name, your family;s or friend’s name, or as a memorial tribute to someone you loved who loved history and Sarasota. Click to learn more.

Bricks at Bidwell-Wood House

Posted in People & Places | 2 Comments

The Florida-Friendly Gardens at the Historical Society

We have a very dedicated crew of gardeners here on our campus in Pioneer Park. If you are interested in native plants, Florida-friendly gardens, or just messing around in the dirt, we’d love to have you join us!

HSoSC vice-president Marsha Fottler sent along these photos of our garden to tempt you into visiting and enjoying the Historical Society:

Below: The rain lilies in our members garden at the Historical Society were a gift from past president Viola Goldberg. They mingle with gerbera daisies, pentas, and a crape myrtle. Members who want to donate plants to the garden should call Marsha Fottler at 371-8593. It’s how our garden grows.

Rain lilies in the Florida-friendly gardens at the Historical Society of Sarasota County at 1260 12th Street, Sarasota FL, in Pioneer Park

Below: We have two pineapple plants in our HSOSC garden. They were planted by a member, Phil Stevens. The local squirrels are watching them as closely as Linda, our site manager. Last year those clever thieves got to enjoy a pineapple before we could harvest it. Pineapples are easy to grow. Cut off the top, let it dry out for a day and then plant it. Slowly, over the next year or so, a pineapple will emerge.

Pineapples in Sarasota, at the Historical Society of Sarasota County, 12th St & Tamiami Trail, in Pioneer Park

Below: Around the pine trees at Pioneer Park, the landscape committee has installed bromeliads and dwarf heliconias. They are hardy, need little water or care and reward us with wonderful color and texture. All of these plants were donated to the HSOSC members garden by friends of the Bidwell-Wood House and the Crocker Memorial Church. We strive to keep the garden Florida-friendly.

 Around the pine trees at Pioneer Park, the landscape committee has installed bromeliads and dwarf heliconias. They are hardy, need little water or care and reward us with wonderful color and texture. All of these plants were donated to the HSOSC members garden by friends of the Bidwell-Wood House and the Crocker Memorial Church. We strive to keep the garden Florida-friendly.

Below: Perhaps you’ve noticed the brick walkways in our garden. You can be a part of the garden with your sponsorship of a brick, in your name, your family;s or friend’s name, or as a memorial tribute to someone you loved who loved history and Sarasota. Click to learn more.

Bricks at Bidwell-Wood House

Stay tuned! More information on the gardens at the Historical Society of Sarasota County coming soon…. and meanwhile, drop by Pioneer Park anytime to see what’s growing!

Posted in People & Places | Leave a comment

Doings around the Historical Society

It's been exciting around the Historical Society of Sarasota County!

It’s been a thrilling springtime around the Historical Society, planning for our next year.

The 2014 Giving Challenge this month was such a thrill and raised much needed funds. Our portion of the over $3 million raised was Continue reading

Posted in Happening Now, Participate | 4 Comments

The Colonel marries his “darling little Bright Eyes”

140523 Blanche_wedding day 1905

Blanche, referred to by her husband as “Bright Eyes”

On this date in 1905, Col. John Hamilton Gillespie married his second wife, Judge McDaniels’s daughter Blanche, in Sarasota. They honeymooned in Scotland. — Entry in Yesterday’s Sarasota calendar by J. Whitcomb Rylee

Read our very own Sue Blue‘s article about Col. Gillespie for Scene Sarasota.

See the Gillespie home, before and after Blanche had a greenhouse added.

The photo is from http://www.owenburns.com/, who honored Col. Gillespie in 2011 with merriment and golf.

Posted in People & Places, This Day in History | Leave a comment

The trial of the century in Sarasota

1885: Members of the

Sarasota Vigilante Committee

went on trial for the murder of Postmaster Abbe. Abbe had

Sarasota Postmaster Charles Abbe

Charles E. Abbe. Click to read about the buildings HSoSC preserves and protects

been involved with some of the “land barons” who had misused the laws to acquire holdings in the area. The Vigilantes killed Abbe over the scheme.

– From J. Whitcombe Rylee, Yesterday’s Sarasota, a 1993 Calendar in conjunction with the Historical Society of Sarasota County.

Photo from the Manatee County Library web site

Posted in People & Places, This Day in History | Leave a comment

Oh no I forGOT!!!

Wonderful response from members and supporters on the 2014 Giving Challenge on May 6-7. Our biggest thanks to you all, as well as to those who preferred to use our “Donate” button here on our site, on the right margin.

But I’ve heard from several generous folk that they forgot, were busy, got distracted by the beautiful weather. Here’s how I imagine some of our supporters looking:

A young lady, just now realizing that she forgot to participate in the 3014 Gicing Challeng on behalf of the Historical Society of Sarasota County.So if this young lady reminds you of yourself, rest assured that you can donate securely with our Donate button, or you can donate this Saturday in person at our

Annual Meeting and Members Potluck

which starts at 11am and features yummy food, our annual election, and a peaceful friendly wrap up of the season at the Historical Society. I’m bringing two new dishes, so wish me luck in the kitchen, or I may look like that lady up there on Saturday! See you soon!

Posted in Participate | Tagged | 1 Comment

A penny postcard to the future

A fictitious postcard from Ethel Wood, Sarasota FLLittle could Ethel Wood imagine that she would indeed become an influential woman in Sarasota until her death, still living in what we now know as the Bidwell-Wood House, decades later. For more on the House as well as the Crocker Memorial Church, click over to our Museum booklet.

Note: This is a totally fictitious postcard “To The Future”, presented by the Historical Society of Sarasota County as part of its fund-raising activities. The House needs a new period-authentic roof to protect and preserve the oldest residence in Sarasota County, and you can help! Use the “Donate” button in our sidebar, or stop by with a check anytime, Mon-Fri 10 to 2. Our Site Manager, Linda Garcia, will be delighted!

The postcard background is from Fuzzimo.com
Posted in Participate | Leave a comment

What makes a community, a community? Lessons from 100+ years

Ever since 1882 (the year Alfred Bidwell built his home in Sarasota, now known as the Bidwell-Wood House, the oldest remaining residence in Sarasota County) and 1901, when Peter Crocker built the Crocker Church for his Bee Ridge community, our two preserved buildings have been places to gather, to meet and help neighbors, and to celebrate the many aspects of life.Read the history of our two buildings in our Museum Booklet.

When the Historical Society moved the house and the church to its campus in Pioneer Park, this tradition of community events gained speed and depth.

Recently, Continue reading

Posted in Happening Now, Participate | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment