Saturday, March 9, 2013

We'd Like to Make a Point...

Sarasota, FL       High:   79     Low:  56

Of visiting historic Spanish Point....Sparky had historic Spanish Point on her list of things to do in Sarasota, so today we went to see it. For an admission fee of 10.00 per senior, you can tour the 30 acres  on your own, learning about 5,000 years of human history in southwest coastal Florida, or take a tour with a guide. OR--here's a sign of the times...You can take an audio tour for part of the park on your cell phone!

Over five thousand years ago, early Floridians fished and hunted, made tools from shells, bones and wood, and buried their dead in this area. At Spanish Point, in Sarasota, you can see burial mounds there, two shell middens (shell mounds), an archaeological exhibition located inside a midden, and the pioneer family Webb's family's homestead. The family farmed citrus crops and took their crops to market on their own schooners. You can visit a reconstructed packing house where they built the crates and packed the fruit.

Sparky and Eldy enjoyed walking the grounds today. It took about two hours to see everything and you can walk it without difficulties if you are the average senior citizen. :-)  Sparky just loves the species name for the wild coffee plant--psychotria nervosa. That always makes Sparky get an image in her head of a bunch of wild and crazy people full of nervous energy running around.

There certainly were a lot of energetic school kids on a field trip to the Point today. This sight made Sparky cringe....The kids were gathering up all that moss from the ground and plastering it all over themselves. They could get chiggers from the moss on the ground! Sparky started scratching.....

On another part of the acreage, you can see Bertha Palmer's (of the famous Chicago's Palmer House fame) winter estate sunken garden and pergola, walk among restored gardens such as the Duchene Lawn and Classic Portal, and go on a fern walk and jungle walk with a scenic (?) aqueduct.

There's a beautiful little chapel called Mary's Chapel, named after a young woman who died while staying at the Webb's winter resort.

It's a popular spot for weddings.

There's a pretty butterfly garden there, too....

Spanish Point, all 30 acres of it, is on the National Historic Register. It overlooks Little Sarasota Bay which makes for a beautiful setting....If you like archaeology, you'll enjoy historic Spanish Point. We have toured and seen much prettier gardens and grounds of famous Floridians, but this is a different type of exploration, with the emphasis on the history and artifacts from pioneer families and native Americans. The settings, buildings and grounds are much more rustic and informal.

It was a great way to spend an afternoon, we thought!


  1. I liked your segue from psychotria nervosa to energetic school kids.

  2. Thank again for taking us along on a bit more of Florida history.

  3. Another place on our list too, but not sure we will get there this year. I love trying to imagine life in Florida during that time period. Must have seemed quite exotic.

  4. Looks like a great place to visit. Thanks for the tour!

  5. I love the historical places especially in the East. Everything is so much "older" back East than it is here in the West. Does that make any sense. We have Indian history but not the beginnings of the USA history so much. I usually run the other way if there are lots of kids.

  6. What a nice place to tour. LOVED the wild coffee and then the pic about the wild kids! tee heeeeeee

    Karen and Steve
    The USA Is Our Big Backyard