The Depot Campus

The Circus Train Car arrived at the Historic Venice Train Depot on January 28, 2021.


For tour dates and times, click here for our calendar.  


For a nineteen-minute video of the Circus Train Car move to the Depot, click here.


Thank you to all our supporters!

The Historic Venice Train Depot, located at 303 E. Venice Ave., Venice FL 34285, was built in 1927 and renovated in 2002-2003.  It was central to the founding and development of Venice, Florida.  Volunteer docents from VAHS provide free public tours of the Depot and surrounding campus.  The display panels and artifacts in the Depot's two waiting rooms illustrate key events in Venice's history and the history of the Depot itself.  For more information about the history of the Depot and its role in the history of Venice, click Train Depot Brochure.

Depot Tours

Tour the Historic Venice Train Depot and Circus Car

Check our calendar for tour dates and times.  Tours of the Depot start in the main waiting room.  The length of tours can be tailored to your needs.  In addition to docent-led tours, self-guided tours are an option.  The Depot, Circus Car, and the Caboose are accessible facilities.  Donations are appreciated to help defray maintenance expenses. 

Arranging a Tour for a Group

of 10 or More

For a group of 10 or more people visiting the Depot, please e-mail depot@veniceareahistoricalsociety.org or call 941-412-0151 to make special arrangements so your group can be adequately accommodated.  Between January and March, as a courtesy to all our visitors, large group tours will be scheduled outside of our normal hours of operation.

For Depot rentals, email Sarasota County at vcc@scgov.net or call 941-861-1380.

Interested in Volunteering at the Historic Venice Train Depot?

VAHS relies heavily on volunteers to greet visitors at the Historic Venice Train Depot and share historical information as a docent.  If you are interested in volunteering, as either a greeter or docent, please call 941-412-0151 or email information@veniceareahistoricalsociety.org.


Other Features of the Depot Campus

  • Refurbished and retired 1953 Pullman Standard Car built for the Louisville & Nashville Railroad and formerly owned by the Ringling Bros. Circus.  Now being used to tell the history of the circus in Venice; 

  • Louisville & Nashville 6445 Caboose, built in 1974, donated by CSX Transportation, Inc. to Sarasota County;

  • Rollins W. Coakley Railroad Park with picnic tables;
  • Statue of Gunther Gebel-Williams, the world famous animal trainer and mega-star of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus;
  • Access to the Legacy Trail and the Venetian Waterway;
  • Opportunities to rent Depot freight room, covered north-end platform, or deck behind the caboose*;
  • Legacy Park, located across from the 1927 Historic Venice Train Depot, includes Venice's newest, train-themed playground.  The shaded playground structure, climbing apparatus, cornhole equipment and swings enhance the existing multi-use trail, kayak/canoe launch, picnic shelters, restrooms and parking facilities.**
*   The Depot is owned by Sarasota County, and county staff handle rentals.  Please call 941-861-1380 for pricing information and reservations.

** To reserve a picnic shelter for a birthday party or other private event, please call the Sarasota County Contact Center at 941-861-5000.

VAHS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit 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 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

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® and The Greatest Show On Earth® trademarks are used under license from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows, Inc.


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