The Historical Society of Sarasota County

Creating an awareness of the rich historical heritage of Sarasota County, Florida


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.


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What’s your treasure worth?

Expert appraisals at the Collecibles Celebration at the Historical Society 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

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Happy Birthday, Owen… and thanks from all of us!

Owen Burns, courtesy of, on HSoSC blogIf you’ve even admired Burns Court, or visited Woman’s Exchange in a building built by Owens to house the local newspaper, or used the Historical Resources archives, much of which was donated by daughter Lillian Burns, or had the pleasure to meet his younger daughter Harriet Burns Stieff who holds a Distinguished Service Award for the Historical Society, you have Continue reading


LeBarge, John McCarthy, and History: The Perfect Sunday

If you’ve never been on an Historical Society of Sarasota County Cruise, you need to. If you’ve been before, you know you need to experience it again!

On November 1, we’ll board, enjoy a little breakfast snack buffet, and marvel at the depth and breadth of John McCarthy’s knowledge of our area. We may cruise north, towards Ca d’Zan, or we may cruise south towards the marvelous bird sanctuaries. It all depends on the weather and our captain. But it will be bliss, I promise you!

UPDATE 10-18-15 SOLD OUT. We will be doing a Spring Cruise in early March, please email our office to receive advance notice when reservations open for that cruise.

Historical Sarasota Bay Cruise November 1 2015

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll enjoy the beautiful vistas.


Put a “reserved” sign on your seat.

Reserve your spot on our tours & events at the Historical Society of Sarasota CountyThe Calendar is set and the reservation sheets are ready! Call the office to reserve your spots for fun events this season. Remember, events with limited seating sell out, so don’t be left high and dry, on the sidelines, behind…

Linda’s ready to take your reservations, so call her at 941-364-9076 between 10a and 2p Monday through Friday.

First up, our beloved 28th Historical LeBarge Cruise with John McCarthy is Sunday November 1, 2015 from 11am to 1pm. $40 or $50 VIP

Next, our traditional historical narrated Trolley Tours with Sue Blue begin on Saturday November 14. Other dates are December 5 / January 9 / January 30 / February 20 / March 12 / April 2 / April 30. $25 per person

NEW this season – “Artists in the Park” Sunday January 17, 2016 from 2p – 5p. OUTSIDE: Plein Air Painters from local chapter Light Chasers with paintings for sale off the easel. INSIDE: Local musicians led by Sal Garcia and Jack Dowd playing for your listening and dancing pleasure. Nibbles and beverages included. $20 and $15 for HSOSC members.

Click for details and to see and print the complete Calendar of Events

Graphic borrowed with thanks from here.