About Us

The Venice Area Historical Society (VAHS) was founded in 1991 as the Venice Historic Preservation League, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, in order to celebrate and preserve the history of Venice, Florida and surrounding areas.  The service area of the Society is South Sarasota County, Florida, including Venice, South Venice, Nokomis, Laurel, and Osprey.

Venice is a charming city on the Gulf of Mexico, and its unique character is the result of the thoughtful planning of John Nolen, a nationally-known city planner.  Nolen designed a walkable city with an active downtown shopping area, tree-lined residential streets, pocket parks, and other recreational areas, including the beach, the city’s crown jewel.  The Nolen Plan has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the city continues to follow its general principles.

The Society sponsors a wide variety of educational programs and initiatives focusing on local and state history—a lecture series, a newsletter, outreach to schools and other local organizations, tours of the Historic Venice Train Depot, a historic plaque program, scholarships for graduating high school seniors, and research into area history.

VAHS Mission

To promote a public awareness and understanding of the historic heritage of Florida, Sarasota County, and the Venice area, within the context of our nation's history, and to encourage inquiry and research into this history.

VAHS Goals and Purposes

  • To create a public awareness of the historical heritage of the Venice area and encourage inquiry and research into its history
  • To develop an appreciation of the history and historic sites of the Venice area and promote historic preservation
  • To provide outreach to a broad audience by sponsoring lectures, exhibits, publications, tours, and other activities.
  • To acquire, hold, own, operate and manage property, real or personal, necessary or advisable for the purposes expressed hereinTo carry on all activities appropriate for a historic and preservation society.
  • To cooperate with the members of the History and Preservation Coalition of Sarasota County.

About the Banner

Historical figures shown in the banner above are (L-R):  Rev. Jesse Knight, early pioneer and settler in Venice/Nokomis area; Frank Higel, former Union naval officer who developed a citrus farm in the area now known as the northern part of Venice; Bertha Honore Palmer, wealthy Chicago heiress and business woman who invested in land, now Sarasota County, for cattle ranching; Dr. Fred Albee, renowned orthopedic surgeon and area landowner who sold land to the developers of the City of Venice; John Nolen, noted city planner who designed the plan for building the City of Venice.

VAHS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and has registered with the State of Florida to solicit contributions.  A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES AT WWW.800HELPFLA.COM OR BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN (800-435-7352) OR OUTSIDE (850-410-3800) FLORIDA.  REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.” Ch 32089

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