• A Message from the President
  • 2021-2022 VAHS Events Calendar
  • Circus Train Car Update
  • An Opportunity to Serve the Community:  Be a VAHS Speaker!
  • Venice Musicale's 70th Anniversary
  • 2021 Centennial of Sarasota County
  • Historic Preservation Committee Report
  • World of Chucko at Historic Venice Train Depot
  • VAHS Welcomes Our Newest Members
  • Business Ads
  • Membership Application

A Message from the President


October 2021


Hello dear friends,

The lazy, hazy days of summer are fading fast away.  The trees here in upstate New York are putting on their brilliant fall colors as temperatures start to drop a degree or two almost every evening.

My sabbatical leave, so graciously granted to me by your Board of Directors, is also fast waning.  Soon, I’ll be heading back to Florida to reconnect with VAHS as we begin to look forward to a new season.

There have been many “behind the scenes” activities going on over the course of the summer in VAHS.  The Circus Train Car Project is in the very final stages as interior displays continue to be finished.  A new walkway connects the deck adjoining the caboose to the restored Ringling car.  The caboose looks forward to a little facelift.  Next door, at the Depot, the County has been dealing with some “leakage” issues.  As a result, the majority of displays in waiting room #2 are temporarily residing in waiting room #1.  Since we have not yet reopened to the public due to the Covid-19 situation, this has not affected us too drastically.

This brings us to the direction that VAHS will take regarding any type of “in-person” gathering in the coming months.  Our city and many organizations face the same dilemma. 

This year, the Betty Intagliata Lecture Series will begin in January 2022, and like last year, it will be available in a virtual format that will be free to the public.  Lorrie Muldowney and Dave Baber (both former managers of the Sarasota County Department of Historical Resources) will kick off the series, speaking in layman’s terms about Historic Preservation in Sarasota County.  This presentation will set the scene for several other interesting speakers covering the John Nolen Plan, not only in Venice, Florida, but also in another beautifully restored city, Mariemont, Ohio.  The lecture series will highlight how these communities have benefited from their historic beginnings.  An email blast will provide instructions for how to access the videotaped series.

With regrets, the holiday social luncheon for members has been canceled due to a “better safe than sorry” cautionary approach to dealing with the remains of the Pandemic.  We hope that a spring event can develop to replace it.

And so, we “go into the woods” one more time, looking forward to coming out soon.  We continue to send out our call . . . ”COME! CELEBRATE HISTORY WITH US!”

With best wishes to you all for the coming season.  Please stay safe and well!

Sue Chapman, President

Venice Area Historical Society

2021-2022 VAHS Events Calendar

Canceled---VAHS Members Holiday Luncheon

Friday, December 3, 2021

Venice Yacht Club Sunset Room


VAHS Honors Venice Symphony with Luncheon at Plantation Golf & Country Club-Save the Date!

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Speakers: Music Director Troy Quinn and 

Christine Kasten,  President/CEO of Venice Symphony

Venice Symphony is starting their 48th season this November.  As VAHS prepares for the opening of the Circus Train Car at the Historic Train Depot, the Symphony is also celebrating our community’s ties to the circus with “Under the Big Top: A Tribute to the Circus" on January 14 and 15, 2022, conducted by Maestro Troy Quinn. 

More details to come.  Check the website for updates.


*Betty Intagliata Lecture Series*

"The John Nolen Plan for Venice"

January 18, 2022, "Historic Preservation" by Lorrie Muldowney and Dave Baber.  Muldowney and Baber will talk in layman's terms and will discuss Historic Preservation in Sarasota County.  Both are former General Managers of the Sarasota County Department of Historical Resources, and both serve on the Board of the Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation (a countywide organization).

February 15, 2022, “The Importance of Historic Preservation in Venice, Florida" by Larry Humes.  Humes, a graduate of the Kentucky Military Institute and a current writer for The Venice Gondolier Sun, will discuss the impact of historic preservation on a city like Venice.

March 15, 2022, Topic-TBA

April 19, 2022, "John Nolen's Plans for Mariemont, Ohio and Venice, Florida:  A Comparison" by Joseph Schneider and Larry Goetz.  Schneider and Goetz are with the Mariemont Preservation Foundation, Mariemont, Ohio.  They will discuss John Nolen's planned communities of Mariemont, Ohio and Venice, Florida.

May 17, 2022, "Gone But Not Forgotten" by Gary Youngberg.  Youngberg is the son of longtime VAHS member George Youngberg.  Gary will show photos of Venice buildings that were built by the BLE as part of the Nolen plan that have been lost to the wrecking ball.

June 21, 2022, "The John Nolen Historic District of Venice, Florida" by Dorothy Korwek.  Korwek, former Historical Resources Manager of the City of Venice, will discuss how the historic district came about and its extreme importance to the City of Venice, Florida.

More details to come.  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

More details to come.  Check the website for updates.

Circus Train Car Update

A circus-tent motif in red and yellow now decorates the central exhibit area of the car. Silver-grey industrial carpet squares have been installed in the main traffic areas, and silver room-darkening sunscreen-shades have been placed in all 22 windows.  The shades create a uniform look on the outside of the car and a museum environment on the inside. 

The white rectangles propped against the windows in the interior picture will be inserted into most of the window openings in the central area so that exhibit materials can be mounted on them, thereby creating exhibit space while preserving the “feel” of passenger train windows.  As shown, exhibit materials—pictures and text blocksare currently being printed at Dorsett Signs, Inc. in Venice.

Photos by George Miller

An Opportunity to Serve the Community:

Be a VAHS Speaker!

Fellow Members, have you developed a special interest in some aspect of Venice-area history, or, perhaps, in exploring more into a character you admire from our area’s past?  Would you like to take on a bit of research to learn more about your area of interest, then sharing that knowledge with others in our community?  Do you have public-speaking experience that might make the idea more appealing and easier to implement?

If some of these factors apply to you, then VAHS could use your help!  Over the years, we’ve been fortunate to have a number of devoted speakers, but the passage of time has reduced our cadre of volunteers in this activity.  As a result, we have been unable to address a range of interesting topics that we would like to offer to the public.  Perhaps one of your interest areas would meet an information need for our residents and visitors.  It’s entertaining, intellectually stimulating, and very much appreciated by our host organizations that may even include your friends and neighbors!

Interested?  If so, please contact me via VAHS phone or email (see below*) and share your thoughtsyour message will be relayed to me by one of our faithful VAHS board and committee members who check these media. I’ll contact you and, if you wish to pursue this area further, we can meet for coffee or lunch somewhere to develop an approach that works for you.  You’d be providing a valuable service to VAHS and to this area we now call “Home.”  Thanks!

Clarke Pressly

Chair, VAHS Speakers Bureau

*VAHS phone number: 941-412-0151

VAHS email:

Venice Musicale's 70th Anniversary

This season, Venice Musicale celebrates 70 years of promoting quality music in the greater Venice area. Since it began in 1951, the organization has been dedicated to nurturing young musicians and enriching the musical community while providing performance opportunities for its members.

Originally named the Cecilian Music Society, an affiliate of the National Federation of Music Clubs, monthly meetings were held in private homes for music education programs. From a start of eight founding members, the club had 48 members by 1954 and was beginning to collaborate with area music, religious, and civic groups.

The Cecilian Music Society, 1954

Promoting and supporting aspiring young musicians has always been a priority. Venice Musicale now grants awards for music studies in summer camps, first-year college, or private lessons to elementary through high school students from South Sarasota and Charlotte County. The program has awarded over $200,000 in scholarships. Notable scholarship winners are Rebecca Reale, now a first violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; cellist Andrew Bailey, who first won at age ten; and current prodigy, eight-year-old pianist Leo Chen.

Andrew Bailey, Venice Musicale scholarship winner at age 10

To raise scholarship funds, individual members and ensembles perform throughout the community. Early ensembles included the semiprofessional Cecilian Choral Ensemble; the Rainbows, open to all singers; and a speaking choir. Encore Chorus replaced those ensembles in the late 1990s, and the Suncoast Duo-Pianists joined Venice Musicale in 2018.

Named scholarships became another funding source when initiated in honor of Cecilian Ensemble director Margaret Strong. Other scholarships were named for Encore directors Toni Samsel and Bill Antholz; beloved members Spier Collins, Pat Gallagher, and Thelma Cohn, who continued playing the piano through age 100.

Thelma Cohn, still playing the piano at age 100

By 2010 the organization was renamed Venice Musicale and had left the Federation of Music Clubs, becoming an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit. Membership is open to any individual or organization that supports our mission.

Venice Musicale is noted for its annual series of monthly concerts and for members’ performances in private community venues. We are excited to resume concerts on October 28, opening our 2021-2022 season with the 2021 scholarship awardees.

Please visit to learn more about Venice Musicale and our 70th anniversary season.

Article and photos provided by Barbara Griffin, Marketing Chair for Venice Musicale

Centennial 2021 Update

In honor of the 100th anniversary of Sarasota County, here are some Centennial events:


"Garden to Table Flower Show"

Thursday, October 21, 2021, 10 am - 5 pm

Click here for more information

Sarasota Garden Club

1131 Blvd of the Arts

Sarasota, FL  34236

Free & Open to the Public


"Building Sarasota’s Stories"

Exhibit runs through Friday, October 29, 2021

Diverse art works of 29 local artists

Click here for more information

Art Uptown Gallery

1367 Main Street

Sarasota, FL 34236

Open to the public


 "The Road We Traveled to Sarasota County"

Tuesday, November 9, 2021, 7 pm. Free.

A one hour play by Kathryn Chesley.  Meet Mayor A.B. Edwards as he followed inroads made by Bertha Palmer's family and others who wanted to separate from Manatee County.

Click here for more information

Crocker Memorial Church

1260 12th Street

Sarasota, FL  34236


"Celebrating a Centennial:  The Origins of Sarasota County"

Now through January 12, 2022

Free Exhibit

Click here for more information

Venice Museum & Archives

351 Nassau Street

Venice, FL  34285


For additional information on Centennial events including auto tours, go to:

by Betty Intagliata

Centennial 2021 Committee Member


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.


Historic Preservation Committee

Free and Open to the Public Historic Preservation Programs

 via ZOOM

Sponsored by:

Sarasota Alliance for Historic Preservation


History & Preservation Coalition of Sarasota County


Saturday, October 23, 2021, 10:30 am to 12:30 pm

"The Importance of Historic Preservation"  

by Lorrie Muldowney and David Baber (Both former General Managers of the Sarasota County Dept. of Historical Resources)


Saturday, November 13, 2021,  10:30 am to 12:30 pm

 "The John Nolen Historic District of Venice"

by Dorothy Korwek (City of Venice Historical Resources Manager 1996-2007)


Click here to register.

by Betty Intagliata, Chair

World of Chucko

Photos from "Happy Birthday America!" held July 4th at the Historic Venice Train Depot.

Photos courtesy of Noriko Sidlow

Upcoming LIVE SHOWS:

Tuesday, October 12, 7 pm



Wednesday. November 24, 3 pm 



Wednesday, December 22, 7 pm 



Click here for more information.


Sara S. Gill          Sharon Grennan


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.

Support VAHS Business Members

Click here for a printable version of this application.

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