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History of Sarasota FL 34243

Sarasota was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, such as the Calusa, who are considered the first collectors of shells. The city’s appealing beaches and bars make this a splendid place to relax after a long day or weekend. In addition, it hosts diverse events, festivals, museums and other attractions you can explore.

Prehistoric and Early History

The first aboriginals to settle in this area were tribes, who traveled and fished through the area known as Sarasota County. In the 16th century, Spanish explorers came to Sarasota, and in 1513 a Spanish expedition landed at Charlotte Harbor. A bit later, there were fishing camps called ranchos, trading fish and turtles with merchants in Havana. Due to the Treaty of Moultrie Creek in 1823, most of the remaining Native Americans in the area were relocated. The remaining tribes were ultimately forced into the Big Cypress Swamp, and in 1842 the federal government opened the lands in Sarasota to private ownership. Many people and families played a crucial role in Sarasota’s early history and growth, including Whitaker, Edwards, Webb, Lewis Colson, Browning and Gillespie, Owen Burns, Bertha Palmer, and others. In 1860, Sarasota was still a part of Manatee county, and at that time, the county began raising a militia unit. In 1899, the Sarasota Times changed its name to Sarasota County Times as an act of separation from Manatee County.

20th and 21st Century

Thanks to its mild climate, Sarasota expanded tremendously because of its popularity as a winter vacation place. Besides growing as a tourist destination, the town became popular for its blooming art scene. John Ringling, who established the Ringling Museum of Art, was a prominent figure that influenced art expansion. In addition, he built numerous cultural institutions to help attract artists and art lovers to the city. When WWI ended, an economy thrived in Sarasota, and the town was filled with new people seeking jobs, investments, and so on. In addition, its location made it easy to ship and transport goods. Florida was the first state hit by the Great Depression, and an event that led out of the crisis was the beginning of the circus that helped grow the economy. Throughout the 21st century, Sarasota continued to grow and evolve, showing its richness with a diverse economy. The town built various museums, festivals, and galleries, such as the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, the Sarasota Film Festival, and the Sarasota Music Festival. Moreover, with new companies and startups choosing Sarasota as a base, the town also continued to grow as a center for business.


In Sarasota’s history, innovation and community have always played an important role. For that reason, Sarasota has something for everyone, whether you prefer beautiful beaches or a dynamic business environment. This place truly has everything; if you consider visiting Sarasota, make sure you visit some of its most beautiful treasures.

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