Historical Markers

Florida Historical Markers Programs - Marker: Sarasota





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Sarasota

LANDING OF THE SCOTS
Location:Corner of Main St. & Gulfstream Avenue
County: Sarasota
City: Sarasota
Description: 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 return in disappointment to Scotland. The remaining colonists along with the American settlers who welcomed them upon their arrival, platted the Town of Sarasota on July 27, 1886.
Sponsors: In Cooperation with the Sarasota County Historical Commission and Sarasota County Historical Society
YELLOW BLUFFS
Location:U.S. 41 & 11th Street
County: Sarasota
City: Sarasota
Description: 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 was also the embarkation point of Judah P. Benjamin , member of the Confederate Cabinet, who fled America at the end of the War Between The States in 1865.
Sponsors: In Cooperation with Sarasota County Historical Commission and Sarasota County Historical Society
SARASOTA WOMAN'S CLUB
Location:1241 N Palm Ave
County: Sarasota
City: Sarasota
Description: In 1903, what later became the Sarasota Woman’s Club was founded as the (Sarasota) Town Improvement Society. Members were active Sarasota Women who successfully lobbied town leaders to install streetlights and sidewalks, and undertook horticultural projects to beautify the area. In 1913, they began raising funds to build a clubhouse to accommodate the club’s social activities and to serve as the town’s first library, which remained there until 1941. In 1914, this site was purchased for $2,000 and members and the community raised the funds to begin constructing a clubhouse. In April 1915, the handsome Jacobethan Revival-style clubhouse, designed by local architect H.N. Hall and built by local contractor George Lysat, was completed. For 61 years, the clubhouse was a focal point for the group’s varied activities and was the scene of numerous social, literary and entertainment gatherings. In 1976, the Sarasota Woman’s Club moved to new quarters. Nevertheless, the former clubhouse continued its use as a center of Sarasota culture and entertainment for many more years until 1977, when it was placed in use as the home of Florida Studio Theatre, a non-profit, professional, regional theater company.
Sponsors: THE FLORIDA STUDIO THEATRE, INC. AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE
HARDING CIRCLE
Location:John Ringling Blvd. & Blvd. of the Presidents
County: Sarasota
City: Sarasota
Description: 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 his friend, President Warren Harding (1865-1923). The landscape plan for the island consisting of the central park, boulevards and medians, was designed by a prominent landscape architect, John J. Watson (1876-1950). The development work was done by Ringling’s partner, Owen Burns (1869-1937). The grand opening of St. Armands occurred in 1928 when the bridge to the mainland was completed. Lots were sold and subsequently a few homes of Mediterranean and Spanish architecture were built. Although the Depression (1929-1941) halted the progress of his plan, John Ringling’s vision was realized with the development of the residential area, beaches and shopping district since 1945. On January 16, 2001, Harding Circle, with its associated medians and boulevards, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places for its unique early community planning and development.
Sponsors: BY THE CITY OF SARASOTA, THE ST. ARMANDS RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION, AND THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF STATE