Tagged : local history

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[Photo of the terrace of the Cà d'Zan mansion by Hans Olav Lien (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons]

 

Newcomers to Sarasota notice right off the bat that we tend to use the name “Ringling” a lot around here. After founding the world-renowned circus with his four brothers in the late 19th century, John Ringling established Sarasota as his winter headquarters and did much to carve out the area's unique culture. Although we didn't name any of our cities after him (as in Montana and Oklahoma, where his railroads helped build towns), Ringling's influence on Sarasota can be marked in a number of important ways.

For starters, just north of the gorgeous Indian Beach and Sapphire Shores neighborhoods, there's the John and Mable

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Above: Original Sarasota snowbird Bertha Palmer (foreground) takes a stroll on her property in what is today known as Palmer Ranch. [Image courtesy of Sarasota History Alive!]

Of all the communities within Sarasota, few showcase the lifestyle that's been developed here quite like Palmer Ranch. Encompassing a number of unique neighborhoods, the 10,000-acre area has evolved dramatically since its beginnings.

When the Scots first came to Sarasota in the late 1800s, the land upon which Palmer Ranch would be founded was largely palm trees and palmettos. It wasn't until Bertha Palmer came to town that the land started adding to the culture of Sarasota, and has continued to do so ever since.

Mrs. Palmer came to Sarasota from Chicago in 1910 as a

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