SARASOTA HISTORY

Sarasota has a long and storied history that has roots in the fishing industry, golf, and the circus. Many of Sarasota’s longest-standing buildings and historic areas are steeped in narratives, places like The Ringling Museum, the Ca d’Zan, Marie Selby Gardens, The Crowley Museum, and Spanish Point all owe their name to the people who helped develop the city of Sarasota and make it what it is today.

Sarasota – the Circus Town

John Ringling, of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, left his mark on the community in a magnificent Venetian-style mansion on Sarasota Bay, named Cà d’Zan. He and his wife, Mable, helped position Sarasota as “Florida’s Cultural Coast” when they decided to house their ever-growing collection of works by Peter Paul Reubens and other masters of 17th-century Italian and Flemish art in what we know today as the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, one of America’s most famous art museums.

Sarasota – the Circus Town

To learn more about the history of Sarasota, visit (in person or online) The Historical Society of Sarasota County. Join them for a historic Sarasota bay cruise to learn more about the city of Sarasota, while enjoying its natural beauty.