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.


John Hamilton Gillespie, known as the Father of Sarasota, arrived in Sarasota in 1886 and transformed what was then wilderness populated by a few Scottish settlers into a viable village, then a prosperous town, and finally a thriving city. Gillespie was the town's first mayor who introduced the game of golf to Sarasota and Florida. The City of Sarasota has proclaimed October 24 - 30, 2011, "John Hamilton Gillespie Week".

Gillespie's home on Morrill Street called "Roseburn"

Gillespie's DeSoto Hotel 1887

Owen Burns arrived in Sarasota in 1910 from Chicago and immediately saw the potential to transform a small fishing and agricultural community into a desirable destination for vacationing snowbirds and permanent residents. His development projects, particularly during the roaring 1920s, included some of Sarasota's most significant landmarks. The City of Sarasota proclaimed November 8 - 14, 2010, "Owen Burns Week".

Burns Court construction
431 Burns Lane
Owen Burns's El Vernona Hotel 1926
El Vernona Hotel Dining Room
Construction of Ringling Causeway 1925


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