Exploring History and Tranquility – The Phillippi Estate Park in Sarasota

image of house in Phillippi Estate Park

Welcome to the Phillippi Estate Park – a beautiful historic park in Sarasota, Florida that offers a glimpse of the region’s rich past. It is located on the shores of Phillippi Creek and sits on a 60-acre natural area park south of Downtown Sarasota and east of Siesta Key. Phillippi Estate Park has a rich historical heritage, it offers visitors a blend of history and natural beauty.

Its picturesque surroundings make this park a lovely destination for locals and tourists alike. Let’s explore more about this park including its history, what it’s used for, and what the park is like today!

History of the Phillippi Estate Park in Sarasota

In 1988, an archeological survey identified artifacts hidden along the southern edge of Phillippi Creek. Early 19th century Spanish fishermen came to Sarasota Bay for fishing and established ranchos. They would catch and fry fish and pack them in barrels for shipping to Spanish Islands in the West Indies and trade them as the fishing season came to an end. Among the fishermen in this site are Felipe Bermudez whose presence on the creek for many years made it get an anglicized version of his name.

Joel Drumright bought 40 acres along Phillippi Creek after land around Sarasota Bay became available for purchase. He was then able to claim 78 more acres after 8 years through homesteading. He would then sell this land in 1910 to George H and C Woodburn Matheny. The two plaited it as the Phillippi Park subdivision in 1911.

In 1915, Edson Keith Jr, a Chicago millionaire purchased the creek. He hired a Chicago architectural firm to design a fashionable home. After the Keiths moved to this home, they established an estate that could provide most of their needs. There were outlying buildings for the housed servants and caretakers, a rose garden, ornamental plantings, a citrus grove, a vegetable garden, and more.

To the north of the park was the new Honore Palmer Estate and to the south the Oaks which was the Winter home.

After Edson Keith died in 1939, Mae Hansen Prodie bought the estate. She then established the Phillippi plantation. After her death, Sarasota County purchased the property to create Phillippi Estate Park in 1987.

What is the Phillippi Estate Park Used For?

Serves as a Historical Site

At the heart of Phillippi Estate Park is the majestic Edson Keith mansion. This architectural marvel features hand-painted ceilings, elegant furnishings, and intricate woodwork.

Used for Recreational Activities and Amenities

Phillippi Estate Park offers several recreational activities. Some amenities available include:

  • Walking trails
  • Picnic areas
  • Convenient boat ramp
  • Canoes
  • Fishing Piers
  • Indoor rental space

Hosting Community Events

The Phillippi Estate Park hosts a variety of events throughout the year. For instance, the Phillippi Farmhouse Market is held every Wednesday where visitors come to check out fresh produce, local crafts, and artisanal products as they immerse themselves in the park’s vibrant atmosphere.

Also, the annual Suncoast BBQ & Bluegrass Bash takes place here.

The Edson Keith Mansion is a great event venue thanks to its immaculate setting, set in the lush gardens that overlook the waterfront.

How is the Phillippi Estate Park Today?

The Phillippi Estate Park is still a valuable and vibrant destination in Sarasota, Florida. It has grown into a community hub and is a top attraction to various visitors.

The Edson Keith Mansion has been restored to its former glory. It continues to be an elegant event venue for special occasions and parties.
The recreational amenities in the park are well maintained and continue to serve locals and visitors well.

As you plan to visit Sarasota, talk to Jennette Properties to organize an annual rental or vacation rental for you. We offer a wide selection of rental properties in Sarasota and the surrounding areas. Let us find you the perfect accommodation as you seek to explore Phillippi Estate Park and all that Sarasota has to offer – feel free to contact us here.


Image source:https://www.scgov.net/

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