Area Information

Sarasota History Alive – Webb Clearing Plow

By | July 1, 2014

webb-clearing-plow_med

webb-clearing-plow_medIn January 1917, Henry C. Webb applied for a patent on a specialized plow. The African American resident of Bradenton had devised a machine for cutting the palmetto roots that were a major impediment to road construction in this part of Florida. As described in the March 15, 1917 edition of the Sarasota Times, the plow “is coupled onto the rear of a large tractor engine, and the way that it goes through the roots is good to behold.” The clearing plow incorporated three cutting surfaces. A vertical cutting disk (#13 above) was the first instrument to cut the palmetto. It was followed by a vertical blade that cut through the above-ground plant and curved down and back (#14 and 15) just ahead of the V-shaped horizontal blade (#16) that severed the palmetto roots several inches below the ground’s surface. The roots and stems could then be easily removed and burned. The Times reported that the plow opened a path nearly five feet wide while the tractor moved at its high speed of four miles per hour. The journalist estimated that it would have taken fifty hands with axes to do the same amount of work in that time.

Webb’s invention came at the right time. Travel between communities was difficult at best. Auto and wagon wheels sank into the sand “roads” during the dry season and mired in water-logged sand in rainy periods. As a result of efforts of community leaders who advocated “good roads,” in March 1915 voters approved a $250,000 bond issue for 34 miles of hard surfaced roads. Clearing palmetto roots by hand made road construction a time-consuming process.

The U.S. Patent Office patented Webb’s clearing plow on May 15, 1917. In “One Man’s Family” A.K. Whitaker, grandson of early settler William Whitaker, recalled that his father, who had helped fund the development of the plow, purchased the first successful model and lent it for the clearing of World War I airfields in Arcadia in the spring of 1918. When that work was completed, A.K. Whitaker and a friend, both recent graduates of Manatee County High School, worked with the plow on the construction of the first paved road between Sarasota and Venice. They initially set up camp near Osprey and then moved with the project to the Nokomis area before leaving for college.

Whitaker wrote that the work was “hard, hot, dusty and dirty…. Up at five – breakfast – clean up camp – at work by seven – a sandwich for lunch – work until five – a bath in the nearby creek – supper – by dark into bed under mosquito bars to keep from being eaten alive.” He and his friend Donald Beck worked with the tractor and plow; other crews hauled dirt by mule team, set wood forms for the concrete curbs, brought hot asphalt in Model T dump trucks, and spread the asphalt by hand. Whitaker’s tractor and Webb plow were used for the duration of the road’s construction. Although the road was only nine feet wide and passing cars needed to move one set of wheels off the road to proceed, users were so impressed by the improved roadbed they nicknamed it the “Velvet Highway.”

Whitaker learned later that the Orange State Motor Company had obtained a manufacturing license from Henry Webb and sold the plow until it became obsolete with the production of large caterpillar tractors with heavy duty scraping blades.

Courtesy of Sarasota History Alive!

Joe Cleary is a Broker Associate with The Cleary Group at RE/MAX Alliance Group. He is a Graduate of the Real Estate Institute (GRI), Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and a certified Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR). Call Joe with any real estate questions you may have toll free at 877-814-1233!

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Blu Mangrove Grill in Palmetto

By | June 27, 2014

Blu Mangrove Grill

Blu Mangrove GrillBlu Mangrove Grill is located in the marina at Riviera Dunes in Palmetto just north of downtown Bradenton on the Manatee River. They are open for lunch and dinner and offer both indoor and outdoor patio seating. Even on the warmest of days the patio is comfortable with umbrella tables, fans and misters throughout.

Blu Mangrove Grill TableThe menu features smoked infused cuisine featuring hardwood grilled favorites cooked low and slow over hickory and apple wood with a selection of steak, chops, fowl and fresh seafood. In addition there is a wide variety of appetizers, soups, salads and sandwiches and even a kid’s menu. They have a full bar and regularly offer drink specials and happy hour. Service was prompt and attentive.

We are always on the lookout for a good waterfront dining spot and found this one to be really enjoyable so if you’re in the area check it out!

For more information visit their website http://www.blumangrovegrill.com/

Susan Guice is a Licensed Real Estate Assistant with The Cleary Group in Sarasota.

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July Events in and Around Sarasota

By | June 26, 2014

Happpy 4th of July

Happpy 4th of July

Celebrate our nation’s independence this month by getting out and enjoying all that our area has to offer. Here’s just a few of the activities happening in the area during the month of July:

Date Event or Activity Location Click Link forMore Information
July 1-6th Suncoast Super Boat Grand Prix Sarasota Suncoast Offshore Racing
July 1-6th “At the Hop” Sarasota Florida Studio Theatre
July 1-31st Summer Circus Spectacular Sarasota Historic Asolo Theater
July 1-31st Louis Cabot Photography Exhibit Longboat Key Longboat Key Center for the Arts
July 1,8,15,22,29 Summer Beach Runs at Siesta Key Beach Siesta Key Manasota Track Club
July 4th Viewing Fireworks in Sarasota Sarasota Sarasota Magazine
July 4-5th Village of the Arts Artwalk Bradenton Village of the Arts
July 7th Casey Key/Nokomis Drum Circle Manasota Key Nokomis Beach
July 7th Meet The Sky Observational Astronomy Siesta Key Zevents
July 9th Learn to Lawn Bowl Sarasota Sarasota Lawn Bowling Club
July 10th HD at the Opera House “Aida” Sarasota Sarasota Opera
July 11-12th Sarasota Improv Festival Sarasota Florida Studio Theatre
July 12-13th Dig the Beach Volleyball Tournament Siesta Key Dig the Beach Series
July 12th Downtown Sarasota Farmer’s Market Sarasota Sarasota Farmer’s Market
July 12th Naturally North Port Farmer’s & Craft Market North Port North Port Farmer’s Market
July 13th Bradentucky Bombers Roller Derby Bradenton Bradentucky Bombers
July 16-31st “Marvin Gaye, Prince of Soul” Sarasota Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe
July 17th American Idol Live Sarasota Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
July 17-31st “The Sty of the Blind Pig” Sarasota Banyan Theater Company
July 18th Christmas in July Venice City of Venice
July 19th Snooty’s Birthday Bash Bradenton South Florida Museum
July 19-20th Vintage and Collectibles Fair Sarasota Visit Sarasota
July 25th Friday Fest – Come Back Alice Sarasota Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
July 26th Arcadia Antique Fair Arcadia Arcadia Antiques
July 26th Arts & Crafts Show Bradenton Mixon Fruit Farms
July 27th 3rd Annual Mystic Fair Sarasota Mystic Fair
July 29-31 Florida State DanceSport Championships Sarasota Florida State Dance

Call us when you are ready to make your move! To search for homes in the area go to Search for Sarasota Homes. We’re here to help you every step of the way…call us today!

Susan Guice is a Licensed Real Estate Assistant with The Cleary Group in Sarasota.

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Why Florida is the Best State

By | June 24, 2014

FloridaAs a Florida Native, I definitely agree with the article, “23 Reasons Florida (Yes, Florida) is quite possibly the Best State In America.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/27/florida-best-state_n_4981731.html.

I’m not sure if my reasons are completely the same, but I do believe it! The best part…you can visit most of these places on a day or weekend trip from the beautiful Sarasota area!

Brenda’s background in strategic planning, marketing, prospecting, and sales give her an advantage when searching for the right properties for her clients. By truly listening, addressing concerns, and taking her clients through every step of the process, she ensures her buyers get what they want. Brenda’s clients trust her and with her efficient and straight-forward approach, enjoy working with her on this important decision.

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Floridaland was Actually 10 Theme Parks

By | June 22, 2014

Floridaland

FloridalandWhat tourist attraction in Sarasota County promised you “Everything under the sun?” It was called Floridaland. Floridaland West, Inc. announced on April 3, 1964, that an extensive tourist attraction center was going to be built on 50 acres just south of Blackburn Point Road, between U.S. 41 and Sarasota Bay. The promoters of the park said that more than one million dollars would be spent in initial investment and that it would be a family type tourist park. They predicted over 200,000 visitors in its first year. Floridaland opened on Christmas Day 1964 with an attendance of over 5,000 people.

Floridaland was really 10 small theme parks in one place. Its advertisements promoted 10 big attractions promoted at one admission price, $2.50 for adults and $1.25 for kids. These included a western ghost town, a billy goat mountain, porpoise shows, a deer park, Indian village, exotic gardens, Floridaland tour train, covered wagon rides and a stern-wheeled riverboat. The two main attractions were the western ghost town and the porpoise shows. As shown in the above photo, the western ghost town, complete with a saloon, bank, general store and undertaker. The 1965 Sarasota Visitor’s Guide stated that “Floridaland western ghost town is the wildest in the South. Hourly shows are held in the Golden Nugget Saloon with pretty can-can girls stepping high. In the streets, the sheriff thwarts a bank holdup and bravely makes desperados bite the dust.”

The Porpoise Pool attraction was located near the intercoastal water way. The pool had trained porpoises and sea lions that performed in shows throughout the day. The porpoises had become favorites of the pubic and to take advantage of this, Floridaland arranged a long distance call between two porpoises. The Herald-Tribune reported on May 14, 1965, that the world’s first “porpoise to porpoise” long distance call was made by Moby Dick, star of the porpoise show at Floridaland called Keki, one of the performing porpoises as Sea Life Park in Hawaii. Moby Dick “talked,” in high pitched tones, for five minutes to Keki over a specially designed phone. Other attractions were the miniature tour trains taking visitors through 40 acres of tropical gardens, through Deer Park and Billy Goat Mountain. At Deer Park you could stop and feed the tame deer and look at performing animals. Ducks played drums, chickens played baseball and a bunny-kissed his girlfriend “until she blushed.” Billy Goat Mountain had Rock Mountain goats and sheep roaming over high bridges. 

In July 1967, Holiday Inn opened a 100-room hotel complex at Floridaland. Holiday Inn was supposed to spearhead further commercial development of Floridaland. Although Floridaland continued to promote itself as the perfect family attraction, by late 1968, attendance was beginning to drop. In hopes of attracting more visitors, the New Floridaland opened in November 1968 with new rides, longer shows and a new orchid garden. The new attractions did not help. By the fall of 1970, the western ghost town was closed during off-season, the skyride had closed and the owners feared the opening the new theme park in Orlando called Disney World. Floridaland announced that its early summer schedule would run from April to July 2, 1971. It never reopened for the winter season. Floridaland was one of may tourist attractions in Florida that throughout the 1950s and 1960s advertised Florida as the perfect vacation destination.

Courtesy of Sarasota History Alive!

Joe Cleary is a Broker Associate with The Cleary Group at RE/MAX Alliance Group. He is a Graduate of the Real Estate Institute (GRI), Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and a certified Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR). Call Joe with any real estate questions you may have toll free at 877-814-1233!

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Star Fish Company in Cortez

By | June 20, 2014

Star Fish Company

Star Fish CompanyStar Fish Company is one of the best fresh fish and seafood markets in town. Located in the quaint fishing village of Cortez, they have not only the seafood market but a dockside restaurant which we had the good fortune to visit recently.

They serve fresh Florida seafood prepared in the simplest of ways. Most items are either fried, grilled, blackened or sauteed. Sides are kept simple, too. There’s cole slaw, cheese grits and french fries. Of course, don’t forget the hush puppies! My husband and I both ordered the grouper sandwich (mine grilled, his blackened). You can tell the fish is fresh and it’s served in a paper box with their own house made tartar sauce.

star-fish-company-docksideThe view from Star’s dock is incredible. It includes mangrove islands, Jewfish Key, Longboat Key and Bradenton Beach. Add to that the local commercial fishing fleet and you’ve got one of the most scenic places found on Florida’s Gulf coast.

 

 

If you’re looking for a taste of old Florida and a really great meal check out Star Fish Company’s Dockside Restaurant.

Check out their website for more information at http://starfishcompany.com/starfishcompany/index.html

Susan Guice is a Licensed Real Estate Assistant with The Cleary Group in Sarasota.

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2nd Annual Stand Up Paddleboard Races on Siesta Key

By | June 19, 2014

Stand Up Paddleboard RaceThis second annual event features over $10,000 in trophies, awards and giveaways. Activities planned for the day are a 6 Miles Beach Start Battle of the Paddle Course, a 1/2 Mile Short Course for the younger crowd as well as a “Beach to Buoy and Back” Coed Team Relay Races, among other events. Activities, board demos, vendors and entertainment will be provided for the public. Admission is free.

For more information visit http://www.sarasotasupseries.com/

Pat Ditton is originally from the UK. In 1994, she moved to Sarasota where she and her husband purchased a motel on beautiful Siesta Key. Along with her family, she ran the motel for five years. In 2002 Pat got her Real Estate License. She has been with RE/MAX Alliance Group since 2004. Pat has first hand knowledge of the immigration and relocation process, and is able to help you avoid the pitfalls and guide you through your relocation, making it a smooth and stress free experience. She provides outstanding service wherever you are relocating from, whether it be a full time residence or vacation home.

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Seventh Annual Fish Fry and Shrimp Boil June 28th

By | June 18, 2014

Low Country Shrimp Boil

Low Country Shrimp BoilOysters to the left, shrimp to the right, savory aromas of spicy andouille sausages, hearty gumbo and fried catfish along with the musical sounds of the Gumbo Boogie Band fill the air. For one night only, Lakewood Ranch Polo Grill and Bar transforms into a Cajun celebration of fresh seafood, live music and New Orleans excitement.

The Seventh Annual Spyder Broussard Low Country, East County, Fish Fry and Shrimp Boil will be held June 28 at 6:30pm. Broussard, a Louisiana native, and Chef Tommy Klauber will join forces to create a sensational buffet featuring Cajun and Creole favorites such as: Zatarain’s Boiled Shrimp with Sweet Corn and Andouille Sausage, Central Grocery Style Muffulettas, Barbecue Brisket Sliders and Crawfish Corn Dogs with Honey Mustard. Reservations required and casual attire is expected in order to laissez le bon temps roulez—let the good times roll!

Courtesy of SRQDaily

Pat Ditton is originally from the UK. In 1994, she moved to Sarasota where she and her husband purchased a motel on beautiful Siesta Key. Along with her family, she ran the motel for five years. In 2002 Pat got her Real Estate License. She has been with RE/MAX Alliance Group since 2004. Pat has first hand knowledge of the immigration and relocation process, and is able to help you avoid the pitfalls and guide you through your relocation, making it a smooth and stress free experience. She provides outstanding service wherever you are relocating from, whether it be a full time residence or vacation home.

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Misty Creek – A Gated Community of Golf Course Homes

By | June 16, 2014

Misty Creek Entrance

Misty Creek EntranceOn 730 acres about 3 miles east of Interstate-75, Misty Creek Country Club is a gated golf course community that is also an Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary of natural preserves, scenic lakes and oak hammocks, .

Misty Creek was developed from the 1980s to the early 2000′s. Homes in this country club community are mostly of a Mediterranean style, many with 3-car garages and over 3,000 square feet of air conditioned space situated on larger then normal lots with with views of natural preserves, lakes, or the challenging 18-hole golf course.

One example of the type of homes available today in the Misty Creek Country Club community is this 3 bedroom, 4 bath, 3,687 square foot home at 8758 Wild Dunes Drive. It is a gracious waterfront home with a complete in-law apartment included. From about every place in the home you have scenic views beyond your pool and spas, across the water to the sixth tee. Three bedrooms plus two over-sized private dens makes this the perfect executive residence or a really comfortable family home. Its over-sized great room is open to the gourmet kitchen making indoor casual entertaining delightful.

The outdoor pool and lanai area with a complete outdoor kitchen adds an additional dimension to your enjoyment of this fine home. And,conveniently, the 3-car garage provides room for a golf cart. ;

The MistyCreek Country Club with its full bar is just around the corner. Priced now at $649,800, this home awaits an owner who will enjoy living in an Audubon-certified golf course community a bit away from all the traffic closer to Downtown Sarasota but still only minutes from everything Downtown Sarasota and our wonderful Gulf beaches on Lido and Siesta Key have to offer.

The Misty Creek 18-hole golf course occupies close to 400 acres and almost every fairway is lined with live oak forests, lush vegetation and occasional deer or bobcat watching your play. The country club also has a driving range, putting green and locker rooms. While membership in the country club is not required, why wouldn’t you want to join it. The club provides an almost endless array of activities including dances, parties, dining facilities, bar and lounge, snack bar, and tennis courts.

Homes in MistyCreek sell for between the mid $300′s and the high $600′s although some estate-sized homes sell for over $900,000.

 

Bob is a 25 year veteran in Real Estate in both the Indiana and Florida markets who feels that this is the greatest job in the world-helping people find their dream home. He has adapted to an ever changing real estate environment while utilizing his years of experience for the future.

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Gulf Drive Cafe on Anna Maria Island

By | June 13, 2014

Gulf Drive Cafe

The Gulf Drive Café has been in business on the beach in Bradenton since 1981. It sits directly on the spectacular sugar white sands and turquoise emerald views of the Gulf of Mexico on Anna Maria Island’s south end. Recently renovated they added a large outdoor patio and two tiki huts. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and we recently had breakfast on the patio and I have to say this is one of the best waterfront dining locations on the island.

We had perfect beach weather here on Saturday so this was a great start to a perfect beach day. The food was tasty and they have a good variety of things on the menu. There is plenty of parking in their lot across the street. We got there early so didn’t have to wait for a table. Once the vacationers are up in the later morning it gets busy but I think it’s worth the wait!

Visit their website for menus and more information at http://gulfdrivetiki.com/

 

Susan Guice is a Licensed Real Estate Assistant with The Cleary Group in Sarasota.

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