Thursday, 20 November 2008

Sarasota Neighbourhoods - Gillespie Park

I had an hour to “kill” this morning after the prayer service at Res House and before giving another volunteer a ride home.

The house was well staffed so I took a walk through the adjoining neighbourhood, known as Gillespie Park.

Gillespie Park honours John Hamilton Gillespie, first mayor of Sarasota. The Scottish-born aristocrat arrived in 1886 as agent for his father, Sir John Hamilton Gillespie of Edinburgh, a principal in Florida Mortgage and Investment Co., which filed the Town of Sarasota plat in 1886. This land was part of the town's experimental farm. Gillespie laid out a golf course in 1886. He worked to fund dredging of a Sarasota Bay channel in 1888, and built a hotel on Main Street. When Sarasota was incorporated in 1902, Gillespie was elected Mayor. He died in 1923 and was buried in the town's Rosemary Cemetery.

There is a lovely park at the heart of this “old” Sarasota neighbourhood, which contains some gorgeous “Florida houses”.

Here are some pictures I took of the park, of the neighbourhood houses (note the “Boathouse” and the “Lighthouse” – they are real homes), of Resurrection House with two guests “goofing off”, and of a great local breakfast/lunch restaurant, just down the alleyway from Res. House - “Sierra Station” - a real Railroad Station imported from Indiana. (Photo's are in reverse order)

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