A history of a very popular beach destination near Sarasota on the Gulf coast of Florida. Reviewing the past century of Siesta Key development in the context of Florida's ancient and recent emergence, this book explains how one small Gulf coast barrier island has become world famous as "#1 Beach in the USA." Beginning with Amerindian settlers, the "First Floridians," all of the seminal pioneers and a steady stream of pivotal leaders are described with emphasis on their families, motivations, and challenges. Both historical triumphs and tragedies are covered to provide a balanced perspective. Lastly, the current and future threats are analyzed in detail, including the environmental controversies with nearby keys, the menace of increasing red tide, and the risks of rising sea levels associated with global warming.
About the Author
Philip M. Farrell, MD, PhD is Emeritus Dean and Professor of Pediatrics and Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. He first visited Florida's Gulf coast barrier islands in 1958, including those of Sarasota County, and has returned regularly. His medical research has led to 3 books and over 300 original scientific articles. During the past 12 years, he and his wife, Alice, have stayed on Siesta Key annually for pleasure and a variety of professional activities. While studying the history and geology of Siesta Key, he discovered that its past century of development is not only unique but also tells a story worth sharing. Thomas Philip Farrell graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a double major in history and anthropology. During these studies, he also trained in archaeology and developed a keen sense of how these disciplines are interwoven. His special interest is Native American history and cultures. He has visited Siesta Key annually during the past decade and found Crescent/Siesta Beach worthy of being designated "# 1."