“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Sarasota County Florida Historical Markers

Lemon Bay Cemetery Marker image, Touch for more information
By Julie Szabo, January 15, 2009
Lemon Bay Cemetery Marker
Florida (Sarasota County), Englewood — Lemon Bay Cemetery
Since the late 1800's the deceased loved ones of Englewood's pioneer settlers have been laid to rest on this high sandy ridge. The land for the cemetery was deeded to the citizens of the Lemon Bay area, by means of trustees, by John H. and Florence . . . — Map (db m15669) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Laurel — Laurel Turpentine and Lumber Industry
The naval stores industry provided employment for workers leaving the plantation system following the Civil War. Some laborers were leased by private companies from state or county prisons. This leasing system brought about conditions of peonage to . . . — Map (db m11815) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Longboat Key — Corey's Landing and Farming Community
Byron Corey was one of the first homesteaders to be awarded land by the U.S. Government on Longboat Key. He was given 154 acres of land on Sarasota Bay in 1895. Until 1921, he had some of the finest tomatoes, guavas, limes and other produce for . . . — Map (db m79430) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Miakka — Old Miakka School
The Miakka School House was built in 1914 by J.B. Rogers for $1,390. It was the first school in Manatee County to be built using school bonds authorized by the Legislature of 1913. This area was part of Manatee County until 1921. The two . . . — Map (db m97078) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Nokomis — Curry Family / Wading Birds
Curry Family Roberts Bay was named for Robert Roberts, who arrived in the area in 1871 and acquired property at the mouth of the bay. His land extended southward along the coast to the southern limits of the present City of Venice. Curry . . . — Map (db m124899) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Nokomis — History of Nokomis / Fred Albee
History of Nokomis The early community between Dona Bay and Roberts Bay was part of a larger community known as Horse and Chaise. The name came from clumps of trees that reminded sailors of a horse and chaise (two-wheeled horse-drawn wagon). . . . — Map (db m124898) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Nokomis — Johnson Chapel / Albee Quarters
The original Johnson Chapel building, located on Church Street in Laurel, was moved in 1947 from the Missionary Baptist Church in Osprey to become the sanctuary for the Johnson Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Laurel. Naming the church for their . . . — Map (db m124875) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Nokomis — Laurel Turpentine Company / Blackburn Sawmill Quarters
Laurel Turpentine Company As the turpentine industry spread through southwest Florida, landowners leased turpentine rights to contractors who hired operators for camps that would harvest gum from thousands of acres of pine woods. The Laurel . . . — Map (db m125006) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Nokomis — Nokomis School
One of the area's oldest educational institutions, the Nokomis School, was built in 1924 on Nippino Trail. The photo shows the two-room Mediterranean Revival style school. Originally, children in grades one through eight attended the . . . — Map (db m38372) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Nokomis — Shakett Creek / Estuary "the cradle of the ocean"
Shakett Creek The naming of Shakett Creek dates back to the arrival of Jesse Knight's family to Nokomis in the late 1860s. They traveled overland from northeast of Tampa with covered wagons, buggies and mounted horses. When the group reached . . . — Map (db m125018) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Nokomis — Turpentine / Venice Ice House
Turpentine Early in the 20th Century, turpentine camps were established in Nokomis and Venice. Typically black laborers cut a V-shaped “cat face” in the bark of pine trees, from which gum oozed into a clay or tin pot nailed to the . . . — Map (db m124982) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), North Port — Little Salt Spring
The waters of this unusual archeological and paleontological site have yielded preserved human skeletal remains and artifacts dating from 10,000 to 3000 B.C. Animal fossils have also been recovered. Including species of extinct tortoise, sloth, . . . — Map (db m128665) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), North Port — Prehistoric Man Lived Here/Spring Was Once a Cave
Prehistoric Man Lived Here More than 10,000 years ago prehistoric man, sabre-tooth cats, giant sloths, mammoths and mastodons lived in this area of Florida which eons later became a part of Sarasota County. Warm Mineral Springs, here, and . . . — Map (db m128664) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Osprey — Historic Spanish Point
This 30-acre preserve includes prehistoric shell middens and a burial mound dating from 3,000 B.C. to 1,000 A.D., buildings from the homestead of John Greene Webb, and gardens from the winter estate of Mrs. Potter Palmer. In 1975, it became the . . . — Map (db m60326) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Osprey — Oscar Scherer State Park
Bequeathed by his daughter Elsa Scherer Burrows 1884-1955 in memory of her father 1856-1923 "That man may last, but never lives, who much receives, but nothing gives; whom none can love, - whom none can thank, creation's blot, . . . — Map (db m125017) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Osprey — Osprey School
The Osprey School served the Osprey and Vamo communities from 1927 through June 1976. It was one of four boom-time schools which were designed by Tampa architect M. Leo Elliot and built along the Tamiami Trail between 1926 and 1928. The land . . . — Map (db m38423) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Osprey — South Creek Trestle / Oscar Scherer History
South Creek Trestle In early 1900 Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL) controlled 2,600 miles of track stretching from Virginia to Florida. In 1911 SAL constructed a 16.5-mile extension from Sarasota (Fruitville Junction) to Venice. The bridge . . . — Map (db m125012) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Avondale
In December 1913, Oscar and Alice Burton joined real estate developer and future Sarasota mayor Arthur B. Edwards (1914-1915 and 1920-1921) and his wife Fannie in selling the land south of Hudson Bayou to the Sarasota Improvement Company. In . . . — Map (db m92861) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Bee Ridge Woman's Club
Side 1

The Bee Ridge Woman's Club has been an integral part of the growth and development of the Bee Ridge community, providing social outlet, community pride, and staunch support for many public interest projects since the early 1900s. . . . — Map (db m136014) HM

Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Bidwell-Wood House
In 1882 this "handsome residence" was under construction for Alfred and Mary Bidwell on land Mary purchased from the State of Florida for one dollar an acre. Before construction the Bidwell's apparently occupied the detached kitchen-dining room . . . — Map (db m97086) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Bispham Dairy
Jackson and Katherine Bispham started a dairy in 1922 north of Sarasota with Sarasota County Dairy Permit No. 2. Later that year Bispham moved his operation to the area of present South Tamiami Trail and Fiesta Street, named it Bayside Dairy, and . . . — Map (db m101064) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Cedar Point/Sunset Park - Cedar Point/Golden Gate Point
Cedar Point/Sunset Park Cedar Point, a hook of land on Sarasota Bay, was platted in 1899 and recorded as an addition to the Town of Sarasota in 1900. Split into north and south sections by North Gulf Stream Avenue, Cedar Point was home to . . . — Map (db m97107) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — City of Sarasota
On a bright spring morning in 1885, a surveying team from the Florida Mortgage and Investment Company cleared a ten foot area in what is today the center of Five Points. The group was led by Richard Paulson who announced: "We will lay out the . . . — Map (db m97142) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — First Municipal Airport Lowe Field
On January 12, 1929, Sarasota dedicated its first municipal airport located on 160 acres just west of Oriente Avenue, now Beneva Road, and north of Fruitville Rd. Pilots performed aerial maneuvers and stunts for the crowd, many of whom felt an . . . — Map (db m101387) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Friendship Baptist Church
The first church in Sarasota County was organized by John Hendry July 6, 1875. Charter members of the Friendship Baptist Church were E.R. and Emiline Foster, Rebecca Lowe, Mrs. L.F. Rawls, Martha Reaves, I.A. and Eleanor Redd, John Tatum, Serene . . . — Map (db m128653) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — F-499 — Harding Circle Historic District
In 1923 circus magnate John N. Ringling (1866-1936) purchased St. Armands Key, an uninhabited, 150-acre, oval shaped island. He planned a community of fine residences with a central circle park surrounded by shops. The park was named in memory of . . . — Map (db m32407) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Indian Beach
(side 1) 5,000 years ago, prehistoric Indians seasonally came to these shore, drawn by freshwater springs, bays teeming with fish and shellfish, and woods rich with game. By 1000 A.D. their middens, ceremonial mounds, and a village plaza . . . — Map (db m60327) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — John D. MacDonald 1916-1986/John D. and the Friday Liars
John D. MacDonald
1916-1986 During his years in Sarasota, John D. MacDonald became one of America's great writers. He published sixty-seven novels, five nonfiction works, more than five hundred short stories, and received numerous . . . — Map (db m97322) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Judah P. Benjamin Monument
Near this spot on June 23, 1865 Judah P. Benjamin Secretary of State for the Confederacy set sail for a foreign land — Map (db m65419) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Judah Philip Benjamin
Judah P. Benjamin, later considered "the Brains of the Confederacy," was an American lawyer and statesman. He was born on Saint Croix Island in 1811, grew up in South Carolina, and was educated at Yale College. He practiced law in New Orleans, . . . — Map (db m65418) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — F-102 — Landing of the Scots
On December 23, 1885 a number of Scottish families came ashore on or near this spot to settle land they had purchased for their homes in a new country. They met wilderness and hardship instead of the established town promised them; causing many to . . . — Map (db m97100) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Mable Ringling Memorial Fountain/Luke Wood Park
Side 1

Mable Ringling Memorial Fountain

Mable Ringling, born Armilda Burton on March 4, 1875, married John Ringling on 1905 and became a Sarasota winter resident in 1911. Mable, an avid gardener, created the formal Ca'd'Zan rose . . . — Map (db m121011) HM

Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Mary Wyatt Whitaker
Two hundred feet east of this highway is the tomb of Mary Wyatt Whitaker Born at Tallahassee, Florida, April 11, 1831; daughter of William Wyatt, member of the convention which gave to the state of Florida its first constitution; mother of the . . . — Map (db m97090) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Methodist Church
The village of Sarasota's earliest church was chartered in 1891 as the Sarasota Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Manatee Village circuit rider Rev. E. F. Gates brought recently ordained Rev. William B. Tresca to be founding minister. 'Will' had . . . — Map (db m97111) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Oaklands/Woodlawn Cemetery
The Florida Mortgage and Investment Company deeded five acres in 1905 to Trustees John Mays, Willis G.P. Washington, Lewis Colson, Campbell Mitchell and J.P. Carter for a "colored" cemetery. The land was platted in 1910 as Oaklands Cemetery. For . . . — Map (db m92862) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Palmer Ranch
After her visit to Sarasota in 1910, Mrs. Potter (Bertha) Palmer and family began buying thousands of acres in the region. One large segment extended from their Sarasota-Venice Company's Bee Ridge development south to Laurel. The present 10,000-acre . . . — Map (db m125021) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Railroad History
The railroad came to Venice in 1911 at the request of Mrs. Potter (Bertha) Palmer. The Seaboard Air Line (SAL) Railway extended its line from Fruitville through Bee Ridge, where the Palmer's Sarasota-Venice Company was developing land, to the . . . — Map (db m124900) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Sarasota's Bayfront
Sarasota Bay and its downtown bayfront have long been considered the brightest jewels in Sarasota’s crown. In 1910 Bertha Palmer, who helped put Sarasota on the international map, proclaimed Sarasota Bay more beautiful than the Bay of Naples. . . . — Map (db m97141) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Seaboard Railway Depot
On this site in 1903, the U.S. and West Indies Railroad and Steamship Company built a depot. This railroad, subsequently incorporated into the Seaboard Air Line Railway, provided great impetus to the town's turn-of-the-century progress. Trains . . . — Map (db m41350) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — St. Martha Mission Church
Beginning in 1889, circuit-riding Jesuit priests served the pastoral needs of Sarasota's small, but devoted Catholic community. In 1912, after years of meeting in various homes, the congregation built a small wooden mission church at Adelia and . . . — Map (db m97105) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — The Bobby Jones Legend
Side 1

Bobby Jones' name already was linked to Sarasota when he attended the dedication ceremony February 13, 1927, for Bobby Jones Municipal Course, which had opened the previous June. The course, 2-1/2 miles east of downtown, replaced one . . . — Map (db m136013) HM

Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — The Booker Schools
Side 1 Emma E. Booker, a pioneer Black educator was teaching in Sarasota's public school for Negro children in the 1910s. By 1918 she was principal of "Sarasota Grammar School" which held classes in rented halls. The Julius Rosenwald Fund helped . . . — Map (db m121010) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — The Circle at St. Armands
Decades after conception, St. Armands Circle has fulfilled John Ringling's dream of a premier shopping district. Conceived during Florida's real estate boom, St. Armands was part of the John Ringling Estates Development and the jewel of Ringling . . . — Map (db m97109) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — The Little White Church at Bee Ridge
Side 1

In 1915, Bee Ridge, then part of Manatee County, supported a train station, post office, hotel, general store, and school. A second wave of settlers who moved into Bee Ridge desired a church in their community. In January, 1917, the . . . — Map (db m135978) HM

Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — The Twin Motel and Tourism
Tourism has long been important to Sarasota's history and economy. Winter visitors began coming to the area in the 1880s with some staying in Sarasota's first hotel, The DeSoto Hotel, which was completed in 1887. Tourism increased in the 1920s as . . . — Map (db m97082) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — The Wallendas
The Wallenda circus troupe originated in Germany, where its members developed a daring highwire act. Early in their careers they achieved some fame touring with different circuses in Europe, but Karl Wallenda became convinced that circus . . . — Map (db m92848) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Whitaker Family/Gateway 2000 Executive Committee
Whitaker Family 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 . . . — Map (db m97093) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Wilson Family and Home
(Side 1) The Wilson House is significant as an example of early Sarasota architecture and as the home and medical office of C.B. Wilson. In 1877, A.M. “Gus” Wilson settled in Miakka, then part of Manatee County. He served . . . — Map (db m136015) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — Winter Quarters
Just east of this marker was the Winter Quarters of the Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Circus, a favorite winter attraction for tourists. Occupying what was previously the County Fair Grounds, the show spread over many acres with its "Big Top", . . . — Map (db m101388) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Sarasota — F-103 — Yellow Bluffs
This area, so named for its outcroppings of yellow limestone, was the home of Sarasota's first inhabitants-the pre-historic and Calusa Indians. Yellow Bluffs later became the homesite of William H. Whitaker, Sarasota's first known white settler. It . . . — Map (db m41293) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — 1926 Article From "Venice News"
"It's a mammoth," voiced Dr. J. W. Gidley, Paleontologist of the Smithsonian Institute, 15 minutes after he first saw the fossil tusks and jaw bone of the prehistoric monster found in Venice. The size of the tusks indicates that it probably stood 14 . . . — Map (db m32747) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — 337th Army Air Field Base
Venice Army Air Field opened during WWII, on July 7, 1942. In June of 1943 the first combat aircraft operated from the field. By March 1944 the base was moved to this location. In all nine groups were trained for combat, with the 337th being the . . . — Map (db m32690) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Casey's Pass
The fragile lands surrounding this pass were settled thousands of years ago by prehistoric Indians. Over time, storms and currents changed the land, and the original Floridians' villages were lost. The 1851 U.S. Coast and Geodetic chart labelled . . . — Map (db m32732) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Colonel George Kumpe Bridge
Colonel George Kumpe Bridge Designated by 1967 Legislature of Florida — Map (db m4878) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Eagle Point Bell
This bell was salvaged from a logging train used in Woodmere, a sawmill town south of Venice, on what is now Rt. 776. The abundant stand of pine trees in that area was dying from having been "bled" of their resin to make turpentine, a much valued . . . — Map (db m47592) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Ennes Arcade and Hotel Valencia 1926
This building was built in 1926 by Stanton and Elizabeth E. Ennes during the development of the City of Venice by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers according to the 1925 Comprehensive Plan drafted by city planner John Nolen. This Mediterranean . . . — Map (db m47287) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Fred Albee Municipal Airport
The first recorded flight into Venice brought a crate of fresh strawberries for the Hotel Venice. Pioneer pilot Capt. George Haldeman landed his plane on Nassau Street to make his delivery on January 13, 1927, not until the mid-1930s was a . . . — Map (db m73678) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Gunther Gebel-Williams
Gunther Gebel-Williams changed the face of the American circus forever, and is universally known as The Greatest Wild Animal Trainer of All Time. From Circus Williams in Germany to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus, Gunther . . . — Map (db m4871) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Johnson-Schoolcraft Building 1926
William D. Schoolcraft and C. Paul Johnson, principals of Johnson-Schoolcraft, Inc., were the original owners of the Johnson-Schoolcraft Building, constructed in 1926. Mayor Ned Worthington led the dedication ceremony. Music was provided by Antonio . . . — Map (db m47281) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Kentucky Military Institute1845 — 1971
Kentucky Military Institute, the nation's oldest private military preparatory school, wintered here from 1933 to 1970. The campus consisted of the Venice Hotel (now Casa de Venice) which housed first year cadets, faculty and dining rooms; and . . . — Map (db m43537) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Kentucky Military Institute"The Military School with a Winter Home in Sunny Florida"
During Florida's Boom Period, 1922-1928, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) purchased 30,000 acres in Venice, believing it was a sound investment where "rail, trail, and water meet." They hired renowned city planner John Nolen to . . . — Map (db m88716) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Lord - Higel House Restoration Project
This house is the oldest home located in Southwest Sarasota County. Built in 1896 for Joseph H. Lord, the home was in the center of his ninety acre citrus grove, located at what is now Bay Shore Estates. In 1905 it became the residence of his . . . — Map (db m43542) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Loring Lovell
1938-1994 Utilities Department Director Loring Lovell exemplified a dedication to the preservation of Florida's water resources, environment, and rich cultural heritage. In recognition of his wisdom, foresight and efforts to provide potable . . . — Map (db m4882) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Pioneer Court
This sculpture symbolizes the three crops – citrus, cattle and seafood – that sustained the first 19th century settlers in the Venice area. No roads penetrated the surrounding wilderness. Most contacts with the outside world were by . . . — Map (db m25913) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — San Marco Hotel1926
The San Marco Hotel was built in 1926 by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) as part of the initial development of the City of Venice. The hotel opened in November of that year after only 90 days of construction. The hotel had a decorative . . . — Map (db m88701) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — The Calusa and Seminole Peoples
The Calusa were native Florida Indians who dominated south Florida from their homeland on the southwest Gulf coast. They were formidable warriors, accomplished artists, and expert boaters. The Calusa did not farm, but instead prospered by fishing in . . . — Map (db m23873) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — The Circus in Venice
Among the number of circuses that have called Sarasota County home, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus (RBBB) is the largest and the one that has had the longest association with Venice. Its roots go back to a small show the five Ringling . . . — Map (db m4880) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — The Hotel Venice1926
The Hotel Venice was built during the late 1920s development of the City of Venice by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, a labor union headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. It was the first building constructed by the Brotherhood in Venice and one . . . — Map (db m38499) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — The Venice-Nokomis Bank
The Venice-Nokomis Bank was organized in 1925 in Nokomis and moved to a new building on Venice Avenue in 1927. This medallion was installed in the lobby floor of the bank building on Venice Avenue circa 1960. It was removed before the building was . . . — Map (db m47657) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Triangle Inn
Triangle Inn Built in 1927 Has been placed on the National Register of Historical Places — Map (db m47709) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Venezia Park
John Nolen, world-renowned city planner from Philadelphia, created the overall design for the City of Venice. Venezia Park Subdivision helped illustrate Nolen's concept for a model city. Dr. Fred Albee, early developer, commissioned Nolen's . . . — Map (db m32558) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Venice
Originally known as "Horse and Chaise", early settlers renamed this area Venice in 1888 in recognition of the many natural waterways which abound here. As a city, Venice became a realty when the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (B. of L.E.) . . . — Map (db m20405) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Venice Apartment District
John Nolen, world renowned city planner, designed the City of Venice so residents could work and relax in harmony with nature and with each other. A central business area, outlying farms, open green spaces, and a wide variety of housing choices . . . — Map (db m32702) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Venice Army Air Base
This structure is a replica of the Venice Army Air Base main entrance originally located at the intersection of The Rialto and San Marco. The base history began in May 1942 when surveyors from the US Army landed at the Venice Municipal Downtown . . . — Map (db m32565) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Venice Railroad and Depot
The first successful railroad into what is now Sarasota County came when the United States and West Indies Railroad and Steamship Company, a subsidiary of the Seaboard Air Line Railway (SAL), brought its first train into Sarasota in 1903. Two . . . — Map (db m4876) HM
Florida (Sarasota County), Venice — Welcome to Heritage Court / Fred H. Albee, M.D.
Welcome to Heritage Court Here you will find recorded the origins of this city. On your left is a memorial to Dr. Fred H. Albee who owned the land on which Venice is built, and on your right is a memorial to John Nolen who conceived the . . . — Map (db m20410) HM

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