Sarasota in Sarasota County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
New Edzell Castle: 1914-1959/Bird Key
The first mansion built on Bird Key was New Edzell Castle, named for Davidella "Davie" Lindsay Worcester's ancestral home in Scotland. Coming to Sarasota for health reasons in 1905, Davie saw Bird Key while boating with friends and was enchanted by its natural beauty and serenity. In 1906 a deed for the 12.8 acres of Bird Key was recorded in her name. Davie planned much of the Georgian-style home but died prior to its completion in 1914. Featuring modern amenities like gas and electric lights, steam heat, and hot and cold water, the house had exterior lighting so it could be seen from the mainland. The property had its own dock as access to the island was by boat only. Davie's husband Thomas Worcester lived in the home until his death in 1918. Members of his family resided there until John Ringling, circus magnate and entrepreneur, purchased Bird Key in 1922. Ringling constructed a bridge and causeway in 1925 to connect Bird Key and the outer keys of St. Armands, Lido, and Longboat to the mainland. Various people occupied the mansion until 1934 when Ida Ringling North, Ringling's only sister, moved in,
After John Ringling died in 1936, his sister Ida and nephew John Ringling North became administrators of his estate, which included Bird Key. In 1951, John Ringling North formed the Bird Key Corporation and acquired about 280 submerged acres from the state. North's vision of filling the submerged land for development did not materialize. In 1959, the Arvida Corporation bought 2,000 acres of Ringling property that included Bird Key. The city approved the Arvida plan for a "luxurious island residential haven." In October, dredging and filling to enlarge the island to approximately 300 acres began along with construction of the island's infrastructure. Encouraged by sales incentives such as a Chris Craft cabin cruiser and a Lincoln Continental, real estate agents sold the first lots that same month. Bird Key was connected to the city water system in 1964. The Bird Key Yacht Club, built by Arvida in 1960, was transferred to the residents in 1967. By 1972 only three lots remained unsold. Today Bird Key is completely developed and is valued by its residents for its history and beauty.
Erected by Sarasota County Historical Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1914.
Location. 27° 19.591′ N, 82° 33.703′ W. Marker is in Sarasota, Florida, in Sarasota County. Marker is at the intersection of John Ringling Boulevard and Bird Key Drive, on the right when traveling east on John Ringling Boulevard. Marker is at the entrance to the Bird Key development. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sarasota FL 34236, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Cedar Point / Sunset Park - Cedar Point / Golden Gate Point (approx. 0.9 miles away); John Ringling Vision for St. Armands Key (approx. 1.1 miles away); Alfredo Codona (approx. 1.1 miles away); Karl L. King (approx. 1.1 miles away); D.R. and Isla Miller (approx. 1.1 miles away); The Zacchinis (approx. 1.1 miles away); Fay Alexander (approx. 1.1 miles away); Harold Alzana (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sarasota.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 20, 2020, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 311 times since then and 171 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 20, 2020, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida.