|Location: West side of Bayshore Drive at Myrtle St.|
years ago, prehistoric Indians seasonally came to these shores,
drawn by freshwater springs, bays teeming with fish and shellfish,
and woods rich with game. By 1000 A.D. their middens, ceremonial
mounds, and a village place stood nearby. European diseases
and war eventually decimated these Floridians. Centuries later,
Seminoles and Spanish fishermen worked at ranchos or fish camps
often built on old Indian sites. The rancho industry supplied
mullet, roe, and other seafood to Cuban markets. One rancho
near here became the site of Fort Armistead (1840-1841), a Second
Seminole War post.
Extensive land purchases occurred during the 1880s. Recognizing the nature of the shell heaps, Dr. F. H. Williams of Connecticut named this area Indian Beach. With others in 1891 he platted a subdivision. The new residents built homes and docks along the bay, established a winter colony, and in 1906 operated a post office serving fewer than a hundred residents. In 1913 the Indian Beach Land Company was formed to sell upland lots as DeSoto Terrace, advertised as an ultra-exclusive residential section. The Town of Indian Beach was incorporated in 1919 and annexed into the City of Sarasota in 1925.