After enjoying the water and wildlife of Lido Beach, we toured historic Spanish Point.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Spanish Point is an “old Florida oasis”. Many people think of Florida as Disney, Orlando, and beach front condominiums, but a walk through Spanish Point reveals what Florida was like before it became a tourist/ retirement destination.
There are four main elements to the overall story of Spanish Point: Prehistory, Pioneer, Palmer and Plants, and we enjoyed a walking tour through all of those elements. An archaeological record exists on the site from approximately 5,000 years of Florida prehistory.
I loved learning about Bertha Honore Palmer. “The Chicago socialite and widow of Potter Palmer came to Sarasota to establish a winter estate. She purchased thousands of acres for cattle ranching, citrus groves, and real estate development. She named her 350-acre estate “Osprey Point” and preserved the pioneer buildings and connected them with lavish formal gardens and lawns.
She also had vision, and she used her influence to elevate the status of women. She was quoted as saying that “women have no desire to be helpless and dependent. Having full use of their faculties, they rejoice in using them”.
photo credit HistoricSpanishPoint.org
Bertha Honoree Palmer also said “Freedom and justice for all are infinitely more to be desired than a pedestal for a few”. What a progressive woman!
The Guptill house, built in 1901 and originally rented to winter boarders, is now furnished to reflect the Florida pioneer era.
Mary’s Chapel was built in 1901 in memory of a young woman who died while staying at the winter resort. Mary’s parents provided the funding for the Chapel, and it’s six stained glass windows.
Those six stained glass windows were salvaged when the Chapel was reconstructed in 1986.
This Gumbo Limbo tree is known as the “tourist tree” because the bark is red and peeling like a sunburn.
Visitors to Spanish Point can “explore 30 historical, environmental, and archaeological acres at this irreplaceable outdoor museum on Little Sarasota Bay in Osprey, Florida”. I urge you to visit if you are in the Sarasota area.
After all the walking and exploring, it was time for a cold beer, and where better to have one than in a Tiki Hut.
Mother Nature and the local birding wildlife offered a beautiful end of the day show!
Nest Post: Siesta Beach and the Museum of Art & Whimsy