AFS Blog

Sarasota County at 100!

Sarasota County at 100!

You only turn 100 once! And how fortunate we are to celebrate the 100th “birthday” of Sarasota County.

Through my research, I discovered in 1921, Sarasota split from Manatee County after residents expressed dissatisfaction with road conditions, schools, and the way tax dollars were spent. Apparently, not much of the tax coffers were being reinvested in the southern area of the then Manatee County.

It was a tough road to independence, but the task was accomplished with the help and support of the entire community.

Fast forward to 2021. The Sarasota County Centennial 2021 brings together partners from Sarasota County to celebrate people, places, and achievements. The goal is to celebrate the founding of Sarasota County throughout 2021 and recognize those who led the campaign for an independent county through activities that entertain and educate the citizens through various means—arts, publications, library programs, lectures, tours, and performance.

Dr. Frank Cassell, Chair of the Sarasota County Centennial Steering Committee, and the entire committee have created a spectacular celebration.

The calendar is chock-full of special events:

  • Centennial City Trolly TourCentennial City Trolly Tour – guests step back in time to 1921 with newspaper publisher Rose Wilson from The Sarasota Times to discover the people and places that were a part of this pivotal time

  • Designing Sarasota: An Architectural History – Presented by the Center for Architecture Sarasota, glimpse unique architecture from the early native Americans through the development of Sarasota to historic neighborhoods

  • Origins of Sarasota County – The Venice Museum & Archives presents an exhibit celebrating the Sarasota running now through January 2022.

One of the most unique offerings are the Auto Tours. Through Google Play or the App Store, you can download the Sarasota County Auto Tour app. Six tours take you on a self-guided trip to the past. As you travel (with GPS location services enabled on your phone), you will hear audio narration and see the sights that are a part of the colorful history of Sarasota County.

In preparing this piece, I was struck by how the citizens of Sarasota in 1921 were determined and resolute in moving the community forward. Working on the Age-Friendly Sarasota initiative, I see this same effort in striving to make our community the best place to live for all people. So, while much has changed, the desire and voice of our citizens remain strong in their desire to continue to improve the livability for people of all ages.

I say get out and take part in all the community has to offer to celebrate this historic birthday.

Cake and ice cream wouldn’t hurt either!


Comments (1)



    • 06 June 2021 at 12:16
    • #

    100 is a good time to reflect on all of Sarasota County’s pioneering past to this 100 year celebration, a time to share with children and all the new arrivals in our last 100 year history. We love the curious at the Englewood Lampp House Museum.


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