The Historical Society of Sarasota County

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


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!

Tickets are $40 per person for general boarding. A limited number of priority boarding passes, which include a free beverage, will be sold at $50 each. UPDATED: Make your reservations now, online here! Call our Site Manager Linda at 941-364-9076 Mon-Fri 10 to 2 to charge by phone, or send a check, including your guests’ names, to PO Box 1632, Sarasota, FL 34230. Seating is limited, reservations are a MUST, and the Cruise is usually a sell out, so don’t delay! And remember, that’s the time-change day: Fall Back!

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.

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Even the kids & the grandkids support Sarasota history!

The Historical Society of Sarasota County loves the Keith Farmhouse restoration!
Did you know that the Farmhouse Market, in Phillippi Estate Park, is managed by Friends of Sarasota County Parks? This non-profit volunteer organization improves the life of current-day Sarasotans and visitors as well as helps maintain our ties to our past history.

Bring your children to the 4th Annual Children’s Day in the Park, at Phillippi Estate Park on Wed. March 11th, from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

In addition to the sights and yummy tastes of the weekly market, there will be games of skill and balance by Krisztina. Plenty of vendors in the Arts/Crafts, live music by Siesta John and local authors too.

You can even bring your pooch to this weekly Farmhouse Market, where you find over 50 purveyors of locally grown and produced fresh produce, fish, honeys, teas, pet items, and much, much more! No-hassle free parking.

Children’s Day has always been the biggest day at the Market, so come early and stay late!
Phillippi Estate Park is located at 5500 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota on the Phillippi River.

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Exploring Sarasota County History

It’s the perfect time of year, here in Sarasota, to venture forth and see some of the sights in our county that you have always meant to visit.

Put down the top and see the county!

Put down the top and see the county!

The History & Preservation Coalition has, for your print-out-and-take-with pleasure, a colorful PDF map of what THEY call Historical Resources and what WE call cool spots to see. Included are URLs, so be sure to visit the various sites of the sights to see when they are open to the public.

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County Park, food, art, and jazz. What more could we want?

The Historical Society loves how everything in the county is intertwined. Some of our volunteers are volunteers elsewhere. Perhaps members of the Wood family, who lived in the Bidwell-Wood House from 1896 until the 1960’s, visited the Keiths or the Prodies at the Keith Mansion. So we are proud to help our current-day peers preserve and protect history, and of course, we love food, art and jazz as well as history! So join us at an event on the Trail, just a few miles south of our Pioneer Park location:


Light Chasers at the Bidwell-Wood House

The plein air painters often visit our historic buildings at the Historical Society of Sarasota County.

On Wednesday February 25 the Phillippi Farmhouse Market, a venture of the Friends of Sarasota County Parks,  welcomes the Light Chasers (Sarasota’s Plein Air Painters) to a Quick Draw Painting Contest.  At 10 a.m. the air horn signals the start of the painting in the market and all over the park.  The painters have just two hours to create an original painting: will they paint the Farmhouse> The Mansion? The colorful kayaks bobbing in Phillippi Creek? You’re welcome to wander the grounds and peer over the artists’ shoulders as they strive to envision an award-winning artwork of this bit of Sarasota history!


Bill Farnsworth, Master Artist from Venice, will judge the paintings and award prizes. You can buy the paintings right off the easel right then or attend one of the art shows and sales at the Edson Keith Mansion on Friday, Feb 27 – 6 – 8 p.m. (Gala Opening Night – $25.00/ticket) or come Sat Feb 28, 5 – 8 p.m. FREE, or Sunday, March 1 – noon – 5 p.m. FREE.


Along with Sunday’s art show and sale will be Jazz in the Park, a free jazz concert from noon – 5 p.m. at the Gazebo, sponsored by the Jazz Club and the kickoff to Jazz Week in Sarasota.The Quick Draw Contest and art shows and sales in the Edson Keith Mansion will raise funds for the restoration of the Keith Farmhouse in the Park.  This was the original building erected on the estate in 1916 – 99 years ago.