|DVD: Reflections: A History of Sarasota County, discover the evidence of the past that has been preserved. |
FIELD TRIP: To Historic Spanish Point. Over 4,000 years ago, people lived at what is now Historic Spanish Point. Here these early Floridians fished and hunted, made tools from shell, bone and wood, mended their fishing nets, cooked their food and buried their dead. Learn about the burial mound and two middens or shell mounds, which contain the evidence of lives of these early people. The middens were created from shell, bones and other day-to-day accumulations. The unique archaeological exhibition,
A Window to the Past located inside the madden, presents what archaeologists have discovered about these early inhabitants. See the citrus packing house and Frank and Lizzie Webb Guptill's home, which has been restored to its pioneer era beginnings. See Mary's Chapel and the Pioneer Cemetery where the Webb family and other early settlers are buried. The major plant communities and many plants are identified throughout the site. Stroll through the "Gracious Palmer Era" where Bertha Matilde Honore Palmer was a visionary who in 1910 recognized the subtropical paradise of Sarasota as one of the world's choicest locations. Purchasing a large portion of present-day Sarasota County, this widow of Chicago magnate Potter Palmer set about planning her acreage for real estate development, cattle ranching and citrus groves. At Spanish Point, site of her winter estate Osprey Point, she designed elaborate gardens while also preserving the pioneer dwellings and remains of pre historic life. Enjoy the restored formal lawns and plantings, including her Water Garden, the Sunken Garden and Pergola, the Duchene Lawn and the Fern and Jungle Walk with the scenic aqueduct. Although Mrs. Palmer died in 1918, Historic Spanish Point remained in the Palmer family until 1980 when the site was donated to Gulf Coast Heritage Association, Inc.