The Venice Area Historical Society (VAHS) was founded in 1991 as the Venice Historic Preservation League, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit 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 and Circus Car, a historic plaque program, scholarships for graduating high school seniors, and research into area history.
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
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 Honoré 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.