The Name Game

By staff December 1, 2004

1. Sarasota's brush with Civil War history is commemorated with a marker at 10th Street and North Tamiami Trail near the spot where Judah P. Benjamin, Secretary of State of the Confederacy, fled from Union troops. Benjamin, known as the "brains of the Confederacy," was hidden aboard a sailboat and headed for the Bahamas and then to England, where he became famous as:

a. A gin importer.

b. A Shakespearean actor, specializing in the light comedy popular in the late 1800s.

c. A lawyer.

d. A criminal-he was arrested in England and returned to the United States, where he was tried for treason.

2. Opened with much fanfare in 1928, the Tamiami Trail linked Tampa to Miami. It was quite an engineering achievement, as workers had to cut the highway through marshes and swamps infested with snakes, alligators and black clouds of mosquitoes. Backers of the project were called:

a. Trailers.

b. Trail Blazers.

c. Mosquito Swatters.

d. Crazy.

3. McClellan Parkway was named to honor Katherine McClellan, who platted McClellan Park in 1916 and developed the area with her sister, Daisetta. The McClellan girls were from Northampton, Mass., and so part of the festive grand opening celebration for the park featured:

a. A bean-eating contest.

b. A tennis tournament.

c. A yodeling demonstration.

d. A greased pig catching contest.

e. All of the above.

4. Mrs. Potter Palmer arrived in Sarasota in 1910, bought thousands of acres and helped shine an international spotlight on the struggling community. Honoré was her family name. Who is Honoré Avenue named for?

a. A.C. Honoré.

b. B.L. Honoré.

c. H.H. Honoré.

d. Honoré Palmer.

e. Who cares? Everybody pronounces it Honor Avenue, anyway.

5. Stickney Point Road and Stickney Point Bridge, the evacuation routes for half of Siesta Key during hurricane season, are named for:

a. Ben Stickney, 1920s-era gay blade, raconteur and developer who came to town at the height of the land boom and made millions of dollars in real estate.

b. Ben Stickney, rum-running miscreant who used the key to offload his wares.

c. Wallace Stickney, Ben's colorful older brother, who spread the rumor that pirates buried treasure on Crescent Beach.

d. Ben Stickney (affectionately known as "Uncle Ben," as he befriended all he met), whose beach parties at the turn of the 20th century were local happenings at a time when a beach party could be a happening.

6. Ringling Boulevard, the street that runs between the Sarasota Police Department and the Sarasota County Courthouse, is named for:

a. Circus king, art collector and developer John Ringling, who brought the circus to Sarasota in 1927.

b. Charles Ringling, circus king, developer, and rival of John; he would have agreed to bring the circus to Sarasota in 1927 but died in 1926.

c. Mable Ringling, John's first wife, who shared so many of his successes.

d. Emily Ringling, John's second wife, in appreciation for her loan to him of $50,000 when he really needed the cash.

7. When John Ringling built the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, he had his architect design a crypt under the glorious bronze statue of David. Who reposes in the crypt?

a. John and Mable Ringling.

b. John and Emily Ringling.

c. John Ringling.

d. John and Mable and Emily Ringling.

e. Mable and Emily.

f. No one.

8. McAnsh Square, the short street that runs off Palm Avenue, was named for:

a. Andrew McAnsh, a canny Scot by way of Chicago who was the first, but far from the last, to get concessions from the city-free water, electricity, and no taxes for 10 years-if he would build a hotel here. (Sound familiar?)

b. Andrew McAnsh, a 1920s-era developer who built the Mira Mar Apartments on Palm Avenue in 60 days.

c. Andrew McAnsh, a developer who was met at the train station by a brass band and who built the Mira Mar Apartments, Mira Mar Hotel, Mira Mar Auditorium and Mira Mar Casino.

d. All of the above.

9. John Ringling's beautiful bayfront palazzo is named House of John in the Venetian dialect. What is the proper spelling?

a. Cà d'Zan.

b. Ca d' Zan.

c. Ca'd Zan.

d. Ca 'd Zan.

e. All of the above.

f. None of the above.

10. St. Armands Circle, aka Harding Circle, and the streets on Lido Key are named after presidents because John Ringling hoped to attract Warren G. Harding to use Bird Key as the Winter White House. The plan failed because:

a. President Harding died before the plan could be carried out.

b. President Harding did not want to locate the Winter White House in an area noted for swarms of mosquitoes.

c. Sarasota was too far from Harding's poker-playing cronies.

d. Mrs. Harding's skin was too fair for the Florida sun.


1. c.

2. b.

3. b.

4. e.

5. d.

6. b.

7. f.

8. d.

9. a.

10. a.

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