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About Sarasota County
Sarasota County scarcely grew in its early years in spite of being located on one of the most beautiful bays in America. Sarasota's name may derive from a Spanish term "sarao sota" meaning a "a place of dancing." Or the name may have derived from the indigenous Colusa Indian word whose meaning may be "point of rocks" or "Place of the Dance." Indian attacks and lack of transportation prevented many people from settling the region until a serious railroad line connected Sarasota to Tampa in 1902. One of the settlers was John Ringling, head of a circus family. In 1921 Sarasota divided itself from Manatee County and doubled its population in the 1924-1927 land boom.
Sarasota County today offers a acre upon acre of orange groves in its interior, trendy shops in Venice and on St. Armand's Key, luxurious retirement homes, a bustling business district in Sarasota, and a thriving tourist industry along its Gulf Coast and barrier islands.