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Sarasota History - Bertha Palmer

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Bertha Palmer was 23 years younger than her husband, Potter, and when he died in Chicago in 1902, she was 53 years old. Potter left his entire $8 million estate to Bertha, to whom he gave a great deal of credit for her assistance in his business dealings. This was against the advise of his lawyer who asked him, "What if she marries again?" Potter replied, "If she does, he will need the money!" Bertha remained single after the death of her husband and, while reading the Chicago Sunday Tribune, saw an advertisement for land in Sarasota. She became captivated by vision of palm trees and soft gulf breezes and became one of the first “winter visitors” of reputation. Her love for the land of Sarasota helped the region to become the popular winter resort that it is today. 

Palmer, a world-renowned socialite, art patron, and businesswoman, bought 80,000 acres in the Sarasota area. She devoted 25,000 acres to ranching and called her model ranch Meadow Sweet Pastures. She began her herd by purchasing Garrett "Dink" Murphy's cattle. Then she brought in 1,000 cattle by rail from Texas and imported seventeen Brahma bulls. Brahmas are heat tolerant and insect resistant. The Hereford bulls she brought in all died of cattle tick fever. Palmer was one of the first ranchers in the state to dip cattle to eliminate the ticks. Cattle dipping would be mandatory by 1932, part of a statewide cattle dipping program funded by federal and state funds. Florida would be declared free of cattle ticks in the 1940's. In the 1930's, her friend, A. B. Edwards, negotiated the purchase of Meadow Sweet Pastures to help create Myakka River State Park.

Palmer corresponded with state agricultural agencies and university agricultural departments and launched pasture improvement programs. In addition to the ranch, she had 1,300 acres of citrus groves and produced honey. Her experimental farms had crops that included celery and watermelon.

At one point Bertha owned about one third of Sarasota County. Her estate property was named “The Oaks”. Palmer built a house, The Oaks, on her 350-acre estate at Spanish Point. Her estate featured its own electrical plant and water system and had citrus groves, livestock and poultry sheds. The name of her estate lives on today and is today the name of the bayfront subdivision in Osprey.  

Bertha Honore Palmer died of breast cancer in 1918, only eight years after that first visit to Sarasota. She left her vast estate in the hands of her two sons, Honore and Potter Palmer, Jr.

Sarasota Offers Something for Everyone

Enjoy canoeing and kayaking, board your boat and head out to the bay for fishing, skiing or to enjoy the waterways. Several islands dot the bay waters creating a sanctuary for many bird varieties. Walk along the Gulf on world famous beaches. The waters abound with many varieties of fish including tarpon, snook and mangrove snapper. See the dolphins & manatees feed & frolic. Walk along the spectacular beach, just minutes from your door. Living in Sarasota is like being on vacation every day with blue skies, sunny days, miles of the best beaches, the gulf coast breeze. Let us help you find your Sarasota real estate with a new home or condo in "Best Small City" in the U.S..  

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We are working with properties every day: Beach and bay front homes, condos, golf course homes, maintenance-free homes, planned communities, homes with charm, family neighborhoods, the downtown art area, gated and golf communities and new homes. 

 

Our experience can make the deal happen: We know of properties that are not on the market yet, we know the differences in writing Manatee and Sarasota contracts to save you money and when negotiating a contract our experience can help you get the property that you want. Ethics counts when you want a level playing field and hard work is critical when you want the best.

We enjoy showing the area and properties to our clients. Let us know when you are coming and we will e-mail you some great places to go and things to do, as well as MLS listings of condos, houses or lots.

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Cultural Activities

Theatre visits offer many choices such as The French Film Festival, the Asolo Theatre Company, Florida Studio Theatre, Island Players, Lemon Bay Playhouse, or Theatre Works, for a start.

Music interest? Check out the Florida West Coast Symphony, Key Chorale, the Jazz Club, Sara. Ballet of Florida, Sara. Blues Society. Opera Association, or the Sarasota Concert Band.

Enjoy collecting art? There are numerous galleries and art shows.

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All information is deemed to be correct, but is not guaranteed and is subject to change.

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John & Nancy Werner, Realtor/Broker

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We are working with properties every day: Beach and bay front homes, condos, golf course homes, maintenance-free homes, planned communities, homes with charm, family neighborhoods, the downtown art area, gated and golf communities and new homes. 

 

Our experience can make the deal happen: We know of properties that are not on the market yet, we know the differences in writing Manatee and Sarasota contracts to save you money and when negotiating a contract our experience can help you get the property that you want. Ethics counts when you want a level playing field and hard work is critical when you want the best.

You've got a life. We help you make it a LIFESTYLE.

Being avid boaters and realtors, we know the waters, beaches and properties  very well. Use the realtors that know the properties, neighborhoods, schools, other realtors and lenders. Experience, best work and integrity are top reasons that we are successful realtors for our customers.

At one point Bertha owned about one third of Sarasota County. Her estate property was named “The Oaks”. Palmer built a house, The Oaks, on her 350-acre estate at Spanish Point. Her estate featured its own electrical plant and water system and had citrus groves, livestock and poultry sheds. The name of her estate lives on today and is today the name of the bayfront subdivision in Osprey. 

 

 
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