UPDATE: Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources received a request on Feb. 14, 2019, from 69 Concessionaires, Inc. to renew their contract to provide concession services at North Jetty Park. The request for renewal will be for an additional one-year term and will include both the main concession building and the trolley, which is also known as the North Jetty Fish Camp. The renewal will extend concession services through June 13, 2020.
In 1947, a retired trolley car from Ybor City was purchased in Tampa and brought to the Sarasota area. Eventually, this trolley car was placed at the site known today as North Jetty Park and became known as the North Jetty Fish Camp.
This converted trolley car has been a local community gathering place in south Sarasota County for many years. The trolley, which is located at 1000 S. Casey Key Road, Nokomis, is owned by Sarasota County and is situated on land within the federal easement governed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
In January 2014, the county entered into a concession agreement with 69 Concessionaires, Inc. to provide services in both the trolley car and the concession area of the new restroom building. This agreement states that the county cannot guarantee the continued existence of the trolley car as it is located within the federal easement and is subject to USACE jurisdiction.
In August 2018, Sarasota County Historical Resources completed a historical/architectural survey of the trolley and surrounding area. The report found that the trolley has been significantly modified, retaining a low degree of historical integrity. In its current condition, the trolley is not deemed eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places or the Sarasota County Register of Historic Places.
Due to the assessed condition and value of the structure, any repairs may trigger the Federal Emergency Management Agency 50 Percent Rule. This rule states that a building must be elevated and brought into compliance should it be damaged by any cause, and if repairs cost 50 percent or more of the structure’s value.
County staff continues to investigate all future options for this location and plan to continue gathering community input about the future of the trolley and preserving a gathering place that shares the cultural and historical significance of this unique part of our county’s history for all residents and visitors to enjoy. Have a memory about the trolley? Sarasota County is collecting stories and memories of the North Jetty Fish Camp at scgov.net/fishcamp.