October 24 - 30, 2011

October 24 - 30, 2011
John Hamilton Gillespie Celebration Week

The week-long party
celebrating the Father of Sarasota…and golf was a big success! From O'Leary's Kick-off Party, Jeff LaHurd's New Book, Jacobites Bagpipers, Trolley Tours, Kiwanis Golf Tournament, and Hartman Gallery Photography Exhibition, to the Palm Avenue Street Party, The Macallan VIP Scotch Tasting, Lunch in Rosemary Cemetery, and Walking Tour of the Gillespie Park Neighborhood - every special event was a wonderful way to honor Sarasota's history.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Save the Date: October 26, 2011 Hartman Gallery Reception

Join your friends for the opening reception of "Gillespie's Sarasota", a photo exhibition at the William Hartman Gallery. The show will feature photos of Sarasota from 1886 - 1926 in honor of John Hamilton Gillespie Week. Admission is free with a cash bar by Caragiulos Restaurant. Free parking in the North Palm Avenue parking garage.

William Hartman Gallery
48 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL
Business hours: Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm

Hartman Gallery will be open during the Palm Avenue Street Party, Saturday October 29 from 3 - 7pm. Stop by for a visit!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gillespie Golf Tournament - Friday October 28th

John Hamilton Gillespie was a founding member of the Downtown Sarasota Kiwanis Club in 1922, as shown above. The Downtown Sarasota Kiwanis Club today is proud to support the Gillespie Celebration Week with a fine golfing event. Become a Sponsor and Reserve your spot today! www.sarasotakiwanis.org

First Annual 
Kiwanis - Gillespie 
Charity Golf Tournament
Friday, October 28, 2011
Serenoa Golf Club

Scramble Format 
11:30 AM - 12:45 PM Registration and Practice Range

1:00 PM Shotgun Start

5:30 - 7:00 PM Dinner Buffet, Prizes and Open Bar

Prizes Awarded for: 1st team, 2nd team, 3rd team, longest drive men, longest drive women, closest to the pin, straightest drive

Event Sponsorship $2,500: Signage on course and dining room (banners provided by sponsors) • Recognition on web & promo spots • Eight playing spots and practice balls • Eight buffet
Hole Sponsorship $100:
Name/display opportunity at hole

For more information regarding Sponsorship: Contact Pete Abbott 941-504-9307 or email

Foursome Cost: $400 • Four playing spots + practice balls • Four buffet
Individual Cost: $110 • One playing spot + practice balls • One buffet

Dinner Buffet: $30 Not playing but want to attend dinner? 

Register Online: www.sarasotakiwanis.org

This golf charity tournament will benefit the Kiwanis Foundation of Sarasota. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers, dedicated to changing the world one child and one community at a time.The Kiwanis Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Donations are partially tax-deductible. Consult your tax advisor for final determination. A receipt will be emailed to you.

Directions to Serenoa Golf Club: I-75 Exit 205 Clark; Go east 7/10 mile; Right on Ibis; Go 2 miles south; Right on Serenoa. 6773 Serenoa Dr, Sarasota, FL 34241; (941) 925-2755; www.serenoagc.com

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

September 7, 1923

Photo Credit - Sarasota County History Center
On this day, 88 years ago, John Hamilton Gillespie died. He was recognized at the time of his death as the father of Sarasota. His passing was heartfelt and mourned throughout the community.

The Sarasota Times eulogized him on September 13, 1923 by recounting his many contributions and adding:

“The Colonel was a great man. His passing leaves us lonely, mournful, filled with grief. Yet his noble soul will live on forever. He has blessed our food these many times with the staid ole Scotch blessing we have learned to love and revere. Now his voice is still forever and the light of his eyes are gone, but his memory is imperishable. Good bye ‘Jim,’ ye were a bonnie laddie and your heart was young.

A procession made up of the Kiwanis Club, the Blue Lodge Masons and other civic groups led the casket to Rosemary Cemetery which he had deeded to the town in 1903. The paper reported that thousands attended to pay their respects.

A statue of Gillespie was never erected. However, in 1924, Owen Burns sold the city of Sarasota a ten-acre tract of land at a reduced price to be used only for a municipal park that would be named “Gillespie Park,” in honor of the bonnie laddie, John Hamilton Gillespie.

~ This post is an excerpt from the soon-to-be released book "John Hamilton Gillespie – The Scot Who Saved Sarasota" by historian Jeff LaHurd. Publication date is October 24, 2011.


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