Historical figures in the banner are (L-R):  Rev. Jesse Knight, Frank Higel, Bertha Honoré Palmer, Dr. Fred Albee, John Nolen

Historical figures in the banner above are (L-R): 

Rev. Jesse Knight, Frank Higel, Bertha Honoré Palmer, Dr. Fred Albee, John Nolen

Welcome to VAHS

Out of an abundance of caution regarding the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the Depot and Caboose Tours are canceled until further notice.  Check this website for updates.

Preserve the Venice Depot's Circus Train Car Logo

Future Train Car Artist's Rendering

We Need Your Help! Fundraising is ongoing for the Circus Train project and VAHS programs.  For more information, click here.

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Preserve the Venice Depot's Circus Train Heritage!

Both the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and the Kathleen K. Catlin Foundation at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County have awarded significant grants to VAHS to help preserve the Venice Depot's Circus Train Heritage!  VAHS welcomes Gulf Coast and the Community Foundation as partners in preserving Venice's Circus and railroad heritage in a visible and exciting way.  For more information about the project, see the Circus Train Page.

Pictures of the circus car's renovation and its prior move to Venice.

Entrance door is being prepped for end of car. October 5, 2020
Sheetrock is being plastered. October 5, 2020
Sheetrock is being plastered. October 5, 2020
Sheetrock is being plastered. October 5, 2020
Sheetrock is being plastered. October 5, 2020
Visitor's Entrance door is installed. October 5, 2020
Sheetrock installation continues. September 29, 2020.
Windows have been cut out of the sheetrock September 29, 2020.
Sheetrocking continues. Windows cutouts are complete. September 29, 2020.
Sheetrock is being installed on the walls September 25, 2020.
Interior walls September 15, 2020.
Sheetrock is being installed on the walls September 25, 2020.
Plywood Wall in Performer Room-September 2020.
Plywood in Central Exhibit Area-September 2020.
Performer room-September 2020.
Plywood walls in performer room-September 2020.
Plywood Installed on Walls September 2020
Curved Ceiling Installed-September 2020
Curved Central Ceiling installation begins. August 2020
Tim Wisgerhof, Venice Theatre Resident Scenic Designer and Mary Huba, Circus Car project co-manager meet to discuss interior display. August 2020
Electrical work begins on Depot Campus in preparation of moving Train Car. August 2020
Final Insulation-July 2020
Workers from Royal Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc. installing air conditioning. June 2020
Work continues on the interior June 2020
March 2020. Ceiling insulation and thermal barrier over performers' rooms has been completed.
Train Car Interior-March 2020
Interior-February 2020
November 2019-Wheel trucks primed and ready for final coat of paint.
October 2019-Side 2; painting is completed; windows installed.
October 2019-Side 1; painting completed; windows and Dutch door installed.
September 2019-Royal Air Conditioning and Heating has begun to mount HVAC equipment.
September 2019-The exterior repair and painting are virtually complete, with only a final coat of paint and a clear coat remaining to be applied on one side of the car.
June 2019 End 2 of Circus Train Car
June 2019 End 1 of Circus Train Car
Side 1 as of May 2019.
VAHS is grateful to master craftsman Bill Dovel for creating a scale model of the Venice Circus Arena to be displayed in the Circus Train Car.
The vinyl covering on the steel roof was replaced with two layers of vinyl providing a 10-year warranty. The underlying steel roof was found to be in excellent condition.
Side 1 before renovations.
Side 1 as of November 2018.
Side 2 before renovations.
Side 2 as of November 2018.
Corner detail before renovations.
Corner detail as of November 2018.
Short Leaf Pine in early morning fog before move to Venice on 12/22/16.
Car is raised with jacks, and orange metal girders and wheeled dollies are placed under it.
Each dolly has eight wheels.
Car is prepared for departure.
Front-loader pulls the car onto the road.
The car is connected to the Johnson & Sons cab with counter-weight behind it.
Before departure, Johnson & Sons employees secure air brakes and electrical connections for brake lights.
The Short Leaf Pine departs for Venice under bright sunny skies.
On the road!
Traveling through Parrish, Florida.
The car straddles Spur Avenue in Venice before being pulled into the yard of Uni-Glide Trailer Company.
The journey is complete.
VAHS members celebrate the arrival of the Train Car.
Johnson & Sons employees lift the car with jacks and prepare to remove dollies.
The dollies are pulled out from underneath the car.
The car will rest on these supports while it is being refurbished at Uniglide Trailer Company.

Visiting Venice's Historic Depot

If you are considering a trip to the Historic Venice Train Depot,

either for yourself, your family and friends, or a large group,

check out relevant information at The Depot.

Click here to go to Lecture Series

Click logo above to see a calendar of upcoming programs in the series.



There are many benefits to becoming a member of VAHS.  All members receive both the Society’s newsletter and first-hand notification of Society events.  Members also participate in Society decision making by attending member meetings. To become a member of VAHS, download this Membership Brochure.

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PO Box 995, Venice, FL  34284-0995

Venice Area Historical Society

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