From the Sarasota County Public Library, May 25, 2021
Phillippi Creek is a 7.2 mile stream running from the Celery Fields, and beyond, down to Roberts Bay. Criss-crossed by multiple roads, its history and heritage is hidden in plain sight. For Sarasota’ centennial, this presentation looks back at Phillippi Creek and considers its future. Five years ago, excavations at Phillippi Estate Park, at the mouth of Phillippi Creek, revealed thousands of years of history. From the Archaic through the Manasota (2500 to 1300 BP) to the present-day, the ancestors of the Seminole and Miccosukee people have fished, hunted, gathered, farmed, and lived on the river that runs through Sarasota. Best known for the 1916 Edson Keith mansion, Phillippi Estate Park and Phillippi Creek are named after Felipe (Phillipp) Bermudez, a key figure in the Cuban rancho fishing industry on Sarasota Bay and the initial Anglo-American settlements of Sarasota and Bradenton. Edson and Netti Keith were part of the Chicago colony that propelled Sarasota into the modern era. Like much of coastal Florida, Phillippi Creek faces the challenges of rising sea levels: the presentation concludes with possible futures for the river that runs through Sarasota.
Presented by Uzi Baram, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the New College Public Archaeology Lab as part of the Sarasota County Centennial and One Book programming.