|LOCATION: Lemon Avenue and 1st Street|
this site in 1903, the U.S. and West Indies Railroad and Steamship
Company built a depot. This railroad, subsequently incorporated
into the Seaboard Air Line Railway, provided great impetus to
the town's turn-of-the-century progress. Trains brought passengers
and manufactured goods to Sarasota and took local products such
as fish, citrus, lumber, and vegetables to northern markets.
The tracks entered the town along Lemon Avenue, crossed Main
Street and curbed south to terminate on a pier extending into
the bay where commercial fish houses were built.
In 1905 and 1912, tracks were built to the agricultural and commercial centers of Fruitville, Bee Ridge, and Venice. When Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus established winter quarters in Sarasota, tracks were extended to the circus grounds east of the City. Daily train and sleeper service from Sarasota to point's north ultimately succumbed to the convenience of the automobile. The Seaboard Air Line Railway and Atlantic Coast Line Railroad merged in 1967 to form the Seaboard Coast Line which continued train service at its station on east Main Street.