• A Message from the President
  • 2022 VAHS Events Calendar
  • Giving Challenge 2022--April 26 & 27
  • Annual Meeting
  • Circus Train Car Update
  • Applause for the Symphony
  • Chamber of Commerce Volunteer Rally
  • Walking Tour of John Nolen Pocket Parks
  • Meet Jan Vertefeuille
  • Two Ways to Support VAHS
  • Speakers Bureau Has Busy Winter Season
  • 2021 Centennial of Sarasota County Final Report
  • Welcome to Our Newest Members
  • In Memory of Arletta Slocum
  • Support VAHS Business Members
  • Membership Application

A Message from the President 

April 2022


As I take the President's gavel from Sue, I am both thrilled and humbled, humbled to be entrusted with this role and thrilled with the prospects which lie ahead of us as an organization. 

Following Sue in office would be a challenge for anyone. I can only hope to keep the flame alive and burning brightly. What gives me strength is your fantastic Board of Officers and Committee Chairs, who impress me every day with their dedication and hard work. I, and our members, are blessed. 

Our prospects going forward--some would say our "challenges"-- include:

  • Reopening the Depot with our former and our new Docents 
  • Completing the Circus Car, and having a grand celebration
  • Resuming, in-person, and perhaps continuing online, Betty's impressive Bill Jervey lecture series

Our organization is not alone in the challenge that Covid and our aging membership present. Vital to our going forward is recruiting new members to our organization. I ask each one of you to look around at your neighbors, club members, pickleball players, golf buddies--and ask them to join you in your interest and enthusiasm in the history of the Venice area. Invite them to one of the lectures. Take them to the Venice Museum and Archives. Take them to the Depot and the Circus Car when it's ready! Share with them what you have learned about Venice and why you love it. 

If we all take seriously our responsibility to refresh our membership with new blood, we will have met the first and greatest challenge. 


Frank Wright, President

“Come!  Celebrate history with us!”

Venice Area Historical Society

2022 VAHS Events Calendar

Betty Intagliata Lecture Series*

"The John Nolen Plan for Venice"

April, May, and June programs will be held in person at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice, 1971 Pinebrook Road in Venice.

All three programs will describe aspects of Venice’s rich history as follows:

  • JOHN NOLEN who planned two cities from the bottom up—Venice, Florida, and Mariemont, Ohio
  • The unique features that Nolen incorporated into each city’s design
  • Buildings built in Venice that were funded by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers but have been lost to us over time
  • Historic preservation and its importance in Venice, Florida

    April 19, 2022, 7 p.m.

    “John Nolen’s Plan for Mariemont, Ohio, and Venice, Florida”

    Presenters:  Joseph Schneider, resident of both cities (six months each), via videotape.  Panel will be in person for further discussion and questions at

    Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice, 1971 Pinebrook Road, Venice.


    May 17, 2022, 7 p.m.

    “Gone But Not Forgotten:  BLE-Built Buildings in Venice, Florida:  Lost to the Wrecking Ball.”

    Presenter:  Gary Youngberg who was born and grew up in Venice, Florida.  Gary’s grandfather was a former mayor of Venice.

    Event held at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice, 1971 Pinebrook Road, Venice.


    June 21, 2022, 7 p.m.

    “The John Nolen Historic District of Venice, Florida”

    Presenter:  Dorothy Korwek, former Director of Historical Resources for the City of Venice (1996-2007)

    Event held at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice, 1971 Pinebrook Road, Venice.


    For information:

    Call:   (941) 412-0151



    Check the website for updates.

    *The Betty Intagliata Lecture Series is sponsored by the Venice Area Historical Society, with permanent funding provided by the Bill Jervey, Jr. Charitable Foundation.  All programs are FREE and OPEN to the public.


    Giving Challenge 2022

    April 26-27, 2022, Noon to Noon

    The Community Foundation of Sarasota County

    Click here beginning at noon on April 26th to donate.

    VAHS will again participate in this year's Giving Challenge, a 24-hour online event supporting more than 700 area nonprofits. All donations between $25 and $100 received through our Giving Challenge link between noon April 26 and noon April 27 will be matched by the Patterson Foundation! You can double your impact for us!

    Annual Meeting Held March 18th

    VAHS held its Annual Meeting for the general membership on March 18th at Pelican Pointe Golf & Country Club, with 77 members and guests in attendance.  Prior to lunch, Depot Manager George Miller presented gift certificates to the corps of docents.  Members and guests then enjoyed a delicious luncheon buffet.

    A business meeting followed lunch.  It included approval of the minutes from last year's meeting, a financial report from Treasurer Mary Huba, and a summary of the Annual Internal Audit by Jerry McCormick, Audit Committee Chair.  The agenda also included a presentation and approval of the proposed new dues structure that will take effect this fall, as well as proposed changes to the Bylaws, prompted by the challenges of the pandemic. The last item on the business agenda was the presentation and approval of the proposed slate of board members and officers for the new year (2022-2023), which included new board members Frank Wright and Jan Vertefeuille.  New officers for 2022-23 are President, Frank Wright; Vice President, Betty Intagliata; Secretary, Mary Huba; and Treasurer, Brenda Holland.

    Following lunch, Andrea Knies and Mimi Cirbusova, co-owners and co-founders of Compass Rose History Experiences, presented “Here’s to History: Tales & Trivia.”

    The meeting ended with Joan High leading a fund-raising raffle for gift baskets.  Thank you to all who participated in the planning and success of this annual meeting. 

    A special thank you to outgoing President Sue Chapman on her leadership during the pandemic.

    2022-23 Officers

    L-R:  Frank Wright, President; Betty Intagliata, Vice-President; Brenda Holland, Treasurer; Mary Huba, Secretary

    Photos by Kristen Bailey

    Circus Car Update

    The exterior of the circus car was recently detailed and waxed.  Inside, installation of exhibits is underway.  Stay tuned for an early summer opening!

    Applause for the Symphony was held on January 12th

    Serena Cannarelli, Event Chair

    VAHS President Sue Chapman presentation to Maestro Troy Quinn

    Photos by Kristen Bailey

    Chamber of Commerce Volunteer Rally Held January 21st

    L-R:  Tom Bowers, Carol Bailey, Sue Chapman, Bill McKinstry

    L-R:  Carol Bailey, "Diego" Middleton, Lin Dalton, Tom Bowers

    Thank you to Friends of Sarasota County Parks and FOSCP President, Terry Redman for providing us a tent during the event.

    Walking Tour of John Nolen Pocket Parks Held March 15th

    L-R: Terrence Conlon, great grandson of John Nolen; Dr. Stephenson; Miriam Nolen Conlon, granddaughter of John Nolen; Larry Humes 

    Photo by Brenda Holland

    L-R: Brenda Holland, Carol Bailey, Dr. Bruce Stephenson, Betty Intagliata 

    Photo by Kristen Bailey

    Meet Jan Vertefeuille

    Jan has been a full-time resident of Venice since 2015 and works for World Wildlife Fund, leading international conservation advocacy efforts. Jan owns a 1926/27 home on Venice island, which led to her interest in working to protect historic Venice. She has a BA in journalism from the University of Maine.


    Use AmazonSmile

    and Donate Now Button

    AmazonSmile is operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice.

    Also, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County has provided a way for you to donate to VAHS online.  This can be a one-time or recurring donation.  Click on the green "Donate Now" button to see how it works.


    Speakers Bureau Had A Busy Winter Season

    Yes, the Society’s Speakers Bureau, dormant for the past two years due to the pandemic and its effects on us and virtually every organization in our area, came alive this season as things began to open up.  To date, we have scheduled 17 different speaking engagements with various organizations across the greater Venice area, 14 of which have been completed.   This activity is supported by our dedicated, knowledgeable cadre of member-speakers who research one or more topics of historical interest and then create various forms of presentation for area groups to benefit both residents and visitors to our area.

    If you are interested, members of this speakers group are available to provide a variety of presentations to community groups within the Venice area to educate, enlighten, and entertain.  Each presentation addresses some aspect of Venice area history.  Donations are requested to defray costs.  Contact us for more information.

    Sue Chapman as Bertha Honoré Palmer at IslandWalk

    Photo by Dave Taylor

    George Miller Presentation on Intracoastal Waterway at Jacaranda Library

    Photo by Brenda Holland

    Clarke Pressly, next to a static display, prior to his Venice Airbase presentation at IslandWalk

    Photo by Mary Geekie.

    2021 Centennial of Sarasota County

    On July 1, 1921, Sarasota County was born, splitting from the old county of Manatee. In 2021, the entire county celebrated our 100th Birthday! 

    Read the Steering Committee Final Report Here


    Cleora Grossi

    Irvin and Peg Lewin

    Lucinda Spaney

    Kristen and Joseph Lachance

    Ann Lovering Horton

    New Business Member

    Compass Rose History Experiences


    If you would like to have a personal chat to find out more about our goals, needs, and plans, or if you are unsure of your renewal date, please contact Carol Bailey, Membership Chair, at  You can also leave a brief message on the VAHS phone at 941-412-0151.

    In Memory of Arletta Slocum

    Arletta Slocum, a longtime contributing member of the Society, died on January 25, 2022.   She had served on the Board, was a liaison to the History and Preservation Coalition of Sarasota County, and enjoyed many years volunteering as a docent at the Depot with her VAHS partner Penny Phelps.  She was also involved in volunteer activities for many other Venice groups.

    Memorial contributions can be made to the Venice Art Center and to VAHS. Please note "Donation in Memory of Arletta" on your check and mail it to Venice Area Historical Society, P.O. Box 995, Venice, FL 34284.

    Support VAHS Business Members

    Click here for a printable version of this application.

    Office: (941) 412-0151 • PO Box 995, Venice, FL 34284-0995