The Historical Society of Sarasota County

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

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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


Family comes to aid of historic structure.

Historic Crocker Church in Pioneer Park, Sarasota FL

The Kwenski Krewe: (left to right) Kendell Kwenski, Kay Kwenski, Norma Kwenski, Brent Kwenski and Montana Kwenski. The family provided the funding for handrails at the historic Crocker Memorial Church (1901) which is curated by the Historical Society of Sarasota County. The gift was made in memory of Brad Kwenski, Norman’s husband the the dad and grandfather of Kwenski family.

The family of Norma Kwenski, a member of the Sarasota Historical Society of Sarasota County, responded to a need at the Crocker Memorial Church (1901) by donating the funds to provide hand rails to the porch of the de-sanctified church building in Sarasota’s Pioneer Park.

These new handrails provide additional safety for people come to the Crocker for monthly member programs, for weddings, and for community social and civic meetings and public events that are held at the Crocker year round on a continuing basis.

“I mentioned to my children about the need for handrails on the porch and they suggested we make a family gift of the funding in memory of my husband Brad who loved history and loved this community,” said Norma Kwenski. “It gives us all such great pleasure now every time we’re at the Crocker and we see people using the handrails. It’s made a real difference and my husband would be thrilled to know he is being remembered for a role in historic preservation and in keeping these historic places alive and in use.”

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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.


The passing of a beloved supporter and local historian

George "Pete" Esthus at Day in the Park

Pete in his Sarasota railroad man outfit at a HSOSC event.

It is with sadness and regret that we tell you of the passing of Pete Esthus, a wonderful man and great supporter of the Historical Society. Our hearts are full, and we offer condolences to his wife Diane and their family.

The Herald-Tribune article.

If you would like, as the family suggests, to make a donation to the Historical Society of Sarasota County in Pete’s memory, please send a check to our mailing address, PO Box 1632, Sarasota, FL 34230.
Or use your credit card by calling our office at 941-364-9076 Monday- Friday, 10am to 2pm.