Sarasota in Sarasota County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Whitaker Family/Gateway 2000 Executive Committee
William Henry Whitaker arrived in Sarasota Bay in the early 1840s. He built a cedar log cabin at “Yellow Bluffs,” part of nearly 200 acres he would acquire along the bay between Hog Creek and today’s Indian Beach Road. Initially a fisherman, Whitaker later added cattle and a citrus grove to his homestead.
Whitaker married Mary Jane Wyatt from Manatee in 1851. They raised eight children to adulthood. During the Third Seminole War, Whitaker joined a local militia unit. After their home was burned by the Seminoles, the Whitakers built their second home adjacent to the family cemetery on today’s 12th Street, east of the Tamiami Trail.
During the Civil War, Whitaker’s growing cattle herd provided beef for the Confederate forces. His family experienced hardships from the Union naval blockade and occasional raids for food. After the war, Whitaker helped facilitate the escape of Confederate Secretary of State, Judah P. Benjamin, from Sarasota Bay to the Bahamas.
The Whitakers and other early settlers provided food and shelter for the colonists who arrived from Scotland in 1885 to create a new town of Sarasota.
Gateway 2000 Executive Committee
The city of Sarasota salutes the Gateway 2000 Executive Committee
Indian Beach/Sapphire Shores Homeowners Association
Downtown Association of Sarasota
Ringling School of Art and Design
Florida West Coast Symphony
New College Foundation
The Folsom Group
Erected by Sarasota County Department of Historical Resources.
Location. 27° 21.018′ N, 82° 32.995′ W. Marker is in Sarasota, Florida, in Sarasota County. Marker is on Imperial Drive 0.2 miles west of North Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located at the pavilion in Whitaker Gateway Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1455 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota FL 34236, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Yellow Bluffs (approx. ¼ mile away); Mary Wyatt Whitaker (approx. ¼ mile away); The Twin Motel and Tourism (approx. 0.3 miles away); Bidwell-Wood House (approx. 0.3 miles away); Judah Philip Benjamin (approx. 0.6 miles away); Judah P. Benjamin Monument (approx. 0.6 miles away); John D. MacDonald 1916-1986/John D. and the Friday Liars (approx. one mile away); Cedar Point/Sunset Park - Cedar Point/Golden Gate Point (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sarasota.
Categories. • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 21, 2018. This page originally submitted on August 21, 2016, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. This page has been viewed 183 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 21, 2016, by Tim Fillmon of Webster, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.