The Historical Society of Sarasota County

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


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An Historic Evening on the North Trail

By Averette - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15375126

An arts district streetscape in Miami.

Artspace Sarasota is a group of citizens who are focusing on North Tamiami Trail, past and present, and its untapped potential for arts-related development. The North Trail corridor is the proposed location for an affordable housing initiative for artists and the creative sector.

This initiative addresses our mission at HSoSC, which is to foster public awareness of our rich historical heritage, encourage inquiry and research into this history, develop a broader appreciation of its historical communities, and protect its historic sites and structures. We welcome ArtspaceSRQ’s meeting in the historic Crocker Church.

This ArtSpaceSRQ fund-raising event will be moderated by Lorrie Muldowney, preservation consultant and former manager of the Sarasota County History Center, on Monday, March 21, and promises a stimulating exchange.

Chicago-based Martin Treu, renowned architect and urban designer, will present The North Trail, Historic Gateway to Sarasota. His recent book, Signs, Streets, and Storefronts, showcases his multi-disciplinary approach to documenting and critiquing streetscapes. Treu has lectured nationally about signs and architectural history and recently launched Eye on Main Street, an organization formed to showcase, interpret, and nurture historic and contemporary Main Street urbanism.

On the same program, Megan McLaughlin, with notable governmental planning experience in Florida, will present Preserving MiMo as a Revitalization Strategy: Success and Contradiction in Miami. The Mimo district shares strong parallels with Sarasota’s North Tamiami Trail.

The event will be held at the historic Crocker Church, 1260 Twelfth Street in Sarasota. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the program begins at 7. A reception and book signing will follow at the adjacent Bidwell-Wood House. A minimum donation of $10.00 is requested. For more information, visit ArtspaceSRQ or contact Veronica Morgan.

Photo by Averette – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15375126


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

Owen Burns, courtesy of scgov.net, 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


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Too busy to join in on the Giving Challenge?

The Historical Society of Srasota County hopes you'll participate in The Giving Challenge in Sarasota County!The Giving Challenge is a wonderful opportunity for us all to join together in support of our favorite non-profits that make life so great here in Sarasota County.

And it’s nice to be part of the crowd… but what if you’ll be busy from noon on Tuesday Sept 1 to noon the next day, and unable to take the time to dig out your credit card, go online, find the link to HSoSC, and decide on a donation amount (tip: if you didn’t donate last year, your gift will be DOUBLED thanks to the Patterson Foundation so your gift means twice as much to the Historical Society!)?

The Historical Society' of Sarasota Countys Site ManagerAs usual, our charming Site Manager, Linda, can help you participate in the Giving Challenge! Just call our office at  941-364-9076 Tu-Fr 10 to 2, or email Linda directly 24/7 at HSoSC1@gmail.com and she can help you help us!

UPDATE: The link to go directly the HSoSC’s page in the Giving Challenge is https://www.givingpartnerchallenge.org/#npo/historical-society-of-sarasota-county It will only be operational between noon Tuesday Sept 1 and noon Weds, but you can bookmark it now!

The Historical Society is a partner with The Giving Challenge


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We’re a part of Sarasota’s Premier Event, The Giving Challenge, Sept 1 & 2

The Giving Challenge allows the Historical Society of Sarasota County to rise to new heights!

The Giving Challenge allows the Historical Society of Sarasota County to rise to new heights!

The Historical Society of Sarasota County, as an inaugural partner with the Giving Challenge, looks forward to your participation in the Giving Challenge, now in its fourth year. And this year, you don’t have to set your alarm to help HSoSC before dawn, because the Challenge runs from 24 hours, from Tuesday September 1 at 12 noon through Wednesday September 2 ending at 12noon.

UPDATE: The link to go directly the HSoSC’s page in the Giving Challenge is https://www.givingpartnerchallenge.org/#npo/historical-society-of-sarasota-county It will only be operational between noon Tuesday Sept 1 and noon Weds, but you can bookmark it now!

Did you miss us last year? If so, you can help us TWICE as much! The Patterson Foundation is Will you be busy during The Giving Challenge? You can still participate. Just call our Site Manager Linda at 941-364-9076 Tu-Fr 10 to 2, or email her 24/7 at HSoSC1@gmail.com and she can help you help us!
matching donations, up to $250 per new donor. Your donation, large or small, will be worth double the donation. If you’ve been a loyal supporter, we love you and your continuing participation, and would be thrilled if you would consider asking a family member, friend or neighbor to join us in this Challenge, letting them know how valuable their gift can be! New donors are donors who did not give to HSoSC in the 2014 Giving Challenge (May 6 & 7, 2014).

We will be posting the link for you to use during the Challenge.  It will not work until it is turned on at Noon on September 1, 2015.  Thanks so much for your past participation and we look forward to a generous family of friends and supporters during the event this year!!

Rather send a check? That’s lovely too, and will free you up from the time restrictions on Tuesday September 1 at 12 noon through Wednesday September 2 ending at 12noon.  Perfect solution if you’ll be traveling or otherwise occupied on those dates! The Society’s mailing address is  PO Box 1632, Sarasota FL 34230.

For more information, stay in touch here on the HSoSC blog, or contact Site Manager Linda Garcia at hsosc1@gmail.com or chat with her, 941-364-9076, Tues-Fri 10 to 2.

The 2015 Giving Challenge is made possible by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and The Patterson Foundation with support from the William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Manatee Community Foundation and the Herald-Tribune Media Group.

UPDATE: The link to go directly the HSoSC’s page in the Giving Challenge is https://www.givingpartnerchallenge.org/#npo/historical-society-of-sarasota-county It will only be operational between noon Tuesday Sept 1 and noon Weds, but you can bookmark it now!


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Old Greets New: Historical Society welcomes the Premiere Tour de SRQ

The oldest residence in Sarasota County was visited by the newest addition to our social scene, Tour de SRQ!

Jenny Townsend began her first Tour de SRQ series in May with a visit to the Historical Society in Pioneer Park.

As you can see, our Continue reading


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Hero of History Award Presented; Distinguished Award Goes to Two

The Historical Society of Sarasota County was delighted to present awards to three recipients at its Annual Meeting.

2015 Hero of History Jeff LaHurd

Hero of History Jeff LaHurd

At its 2015 annual meeting on May 2 in the historic Crocker Memorial Church (1901), the Historical Society of Sarasota County presented three awards to community people who have made significant contributions to history education, preservation, research and programming.

Receiving the 2015 Hero of History award is Jeff LaHurd, historian, author and lecturer, who through his writings and public presentations continually educates the public about the history of Sarasota and Florida.

2015 Harriet Stieff Distinguished Service Award

Harriet Stieff Distinguished Service Award

Receiving awards for Distinguished Service were two Historical Society members with long records of service to the Society and to Sarasota County. They are: Viola Goldberg, a past president of the Historical Society and a current member of the Advisory Board and Harriet Burns Stieff, a past board member and current member of the Advisory Board. Mrs. Stieff is the youngest daughter of Owen Burns, a Sarasota history maker and one of Sarasota’s legendary early developers. Both of these women have been the subjects of video oral histories, and their memories about Sarasota in days gone by are available on CD in the library of the Historical Society.

Viola Goldberg Distinguished Service Award

Viola Goldberg Distinguished Service Award

In presenting the awards, Howard Rosenthal, President of the Historical Society, said

“We are extremely proud of and grateful for the accomplishments of all three of this year’s award recipients. Each one demonstrates how much individuals can do to keep the history of Sarasota County alive, not only for their own generation but for those generations yet to come.”