Sarasota County’s birth wasn’t an easy one.
Community leaders battled their colleagues in Manatee County for years before they achieved their independence with the creation of Sarasota County in 1921.
The road to independence for Sarasota County was literally a battle for better roads and transportation, as well as ensuring for the county an economically viable future.
The county in its infancy also had to contend with the heyday of the 1920s Florida Land Boom, then the bust and the Great Depression soon to follow.
The Lemon Bay Historical Society invited Frank Cassell to talk about his history, “Creating Sarasota,” and the struggles the county faced to assert its independence from Manatee before becoming a county unto itself in 1921.
Cassell is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. Jan. 28 at the Historic Green Street Church and Museum, 510 S. Indiana Ave., in Englewood. The event is free.
Cassell will have copies of his book “Creating Sarasota County” available for purchase.
Cassell has explored other historic aspects of Sarasota County.
He researched the life of Bertha Honoré Palmer, of Palmer Ranch fame, for his “Suncoast Empire: Bertha Honoré Palmer, Her Family, and the Rise of Sarasota, 1910-1982.”
Cassell also authored “Josie and Salem: An Indiana Love Story,” “Merchant Congressman in the Young Republic: Samuel Smith of Maryland 1752-1839,” and “The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: A Historic Profile.”
Cassell and his wife, Beth, moved to Sarasota County in 2007. He had been a professor and served as president of the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. In 2012, Pittsburgh University trustees named an academic building for Cassell on the Greensburg campus.
He now serves on Sarasota County Historical Commission, as chair of the History and Preservation Coalition of Sarasota County, and chair of the Sarasota County Centennial 2021 Steering Committee.