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 Palmer Family Timeline

 
1849    
Bertha Honoré is born in Louisville, Kentucky to Henry Hamilton Honoré and Eliza Carr Honoré.                   
 
1855               
Bertha Honoré moved to Chicago, Illinois.
 
1863 (ca.)       
Bertha Honoré and Potter Palmer are introduced.

1867               
Bertha Honoré is presented to Chicago society.

1870               
Engagement of Bertha Honoré and Potter Palmer.
                   
1874               
February 1, 1874, Honoré Palmer was born.

1875               
October 8, 1875, Potter Palmer II was born.

1893               
Bertha Honoré Palmer chaired the Board of Lady Managers for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

1902               
Death of Potter Palmer, Sr.; Bertha Honoré Palmer inherits $8,000,000 from Potter Palmer’s estate.
 
1910               
Realtors, A.B. Edwards and Joseph H. Lord, placed an advertisement in the Chicago Tribune featuring Sarasota, Florida.

February 10, 1910, Bertha Honoré Palmer visited Sarasota, Florida to establish a winter estate. A.B. Edwards, in an attempt to properly accommodate such a prestigious family, arranged for the Halton Sanitarium to temporarily transform the convalescence facility into what appeared to be a luxurious private residence. It wasn’t until much later did she realize this ruse. 
 
Bertha Honoré Palmer initiated the purchase of approximately 90,000 acres of land in the Sarasota-Venice region. Over a seven year period, she purchased properties for her estate as well as business ventures including, cattle ranching, citrus groves, and real estate development.

Palmer family formed a land development company, Florida Development Company, later to become Sarasota-Venice Corporation. This company promoted Sarasota County as prime citrus farm land, and encouraged northern visitors to invest in this area.
                       
Meadowsweet Pastures is the name Bertha Honoré Palmer gave the property she purchased from Garret “Dink” Murphy, in the upper Myakka River basin.

Bertha Honoré Palmer’s presence transformed the Sarasota-Venice region into a winter residence destination for the well-to-do.

Bertha Honoré Palmer purchased Lawrence Jones’ two-story house on Little Sarasota Bay, located just north of the homestead established by John and Eliza Webb.

Chicago architect, Thomas Reed Martin, was hired to improve the Classical Revival style residence. She named her residence, The Oaks. Upgrades to the home included the addition of an electrical plant, a solar heated water system and an irrigation system that supported all of the buildings on the estate.
 
Bertha Honoré Palmer named the 350 acre tract of land, where The Oaks stood, Osprey Point. This area was originally called Spanish Point. The pioneer buildings on Osprey Point were preserved and repurposed and were connected by trails that led through lavish formal gardens and lawns.
 
Bertha Honoré Palmer prevailed upon the Seaboard Air Line Railway to extend its tracks 16.5 miles from Fruitville, through Bee Ridge to a point south at Robert’s Bay, and on to Venice.

The women of Sarasota were grateful to Bertha Honoré Palmer for her improvements to the Rosemary Cemetery, Sarasota’s first cemetery. Bertha Honoré Palmer gave a stone pergola with seats for visitors.

Laura V. Honoré, wife of Bertha Honoré Palmer’s uncle Benjamin, purchased seven acres at Yellow Bluffs. This Sarasota bay front property was the old homestead of the William Whitaker family. The residence erected on Yellow Bluffs was called The Acacias.

1911               
Honoré and Potter Palmer begin construction of the residence, Immokalee, located just north of their mother’s estate in Osprey.
The Seaboard Airline Railway depot was built.
 
1914 (ca.)       
Bertha Honoré Palmer contributed $2,000 in bonds for the construction of the Sarasota Woman’s Club.

 
1915               
To the consternation of locals, Bertha Honoré Palmer fenced in her range at Meadowsweet Pastures and began dipping her cattle to eradicate Texas tick fever.
                       
Bertha Honoré Palmer shipped the largest-ever herd of cattle, at this time, from Manatee County. It took thirty-one Seaboard Airline Railway cars to ship one thousand head of cattle.
 
Bertha Honoré Palmer experimented with horticulture on her Florida properties, cultivating a great variety of flowers, fruit and vegetable plants and seeds acquired from nurseries across the country.
 
Bertha Honoré Palmer donated two lots of land for the construction of the Bee Ridge Presbyterian Church, a.k.a., The Little White Church.
               
Known as the Get-Together Club, a group of women met and held social events in the Bee Ridge Hotel, owned by Bertha Honoré Palmer.
 
1916               
Bertha Honoré Palmer’s father, Henry Hamilton Honoré dies. Eagle Point Camp was begun by Mike Evans on Palmer land just north of Venice. It was utilized for fishing and hunting.
 
1917               
Bertha Honoré Palmer appointed Vice President of the Florida State Live Stock Association and was innovative in bringing pure bred hogs to Sarasota-Venice region.
 
Mike Evans was hired to oversee Bertha Honoré Palmer’s fishing and hunting camp at Eagle Point, located just north of Venice, Florida.
 
The Get-Together Club becomes the Bee Ridge Woman’s Club.

1918               
Bertha Honoré Palmer investigated the use of solar heating in her facilities.
 
May 5, 1918, Bertha Honoré Palmer dies from breast cancer.

1920               
Bertha Honoré Palmer’s estate donated land to the Bee Ridge Woman’s Club for club activities and landscaping.
 
1922               
Honoré and Potter Palmer formed Hyde Park Citrus Groves, in the South Gate area.

1923               
Honoré and Potter Palmer aided in the formation of the Sarasota-Fruitville Drainage District of which 8,000 acres were made available for cultivation. This acreage became known as Palmer Farms and Experimental Station.

1926               
Ed L. Ayres, then county agent in Manatee County, was hired by the Palmer heirs to manage Palmer Farms and Experimental Station. It was determined that celery was the most economical crop for cultivation in the experimental station’s muck-land.

1927               
With the completion of the drainage of the Palmer Farms and Experimental Station, the Palmers began selling tracts of land to private individuals. Property owners became members of Palmer Farms Growers Association, a horticultural cooperative. It was set up to develop and market the produce, as part of the incentive for farmers to purchase a tract of land. This station provided services to farmers including information and tests on soil fertility, seed, average yields, fertilizers, irrigation and drainage.
 
1929               
Palmer Bank, later known as Palmer First National Bank, was formed and led by members of the Palmer family and Prince Michael Cantacuzene.

1934               
The Internal Improvement Board of the State of Florida purchased 17,500 acres of land from the estate of Adrian C. Honoré, a brother of the late Mrs. Potter Palmer.
 
Two weeks after the state purchased the Myakka region property, Honoré Palmer and Potter Palmer gifted 1,920 acres to the State of Florida for a park in honor of their mother, Bertha Honoré Palmer. This began a movement in the region to set aside natural areas. 

1941  
As a result of the cooperative efforts of the Palmer family and the State of Florida, on February 18, 1941 Myakka River State Park opened.

1943               
Potter Palmer, Jr. died at his winter home in Santa Barbara, California.

1964               
Honoré Palmer died at Immokalee.



 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 


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