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Vintage Sarasota: Marie Selby

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Share on Twitter Marie Selby (n.d.) A prominent name around Sarasota County, Marie Selby (along with her husband William) was an ambitious, compassionate and influential person. She and William traveled the same route driven by the first transcontinental automobile race from Seattle to New York City in six days less than the winner of the race! […]

November 20, 2013


Marie Selby

Marie Selby (n.d.) A prominent name around Sarasota County, Marie Selby (along with her husband William) was an ambitious, compassionate and influential person. She and William traveled the same route driven by the first transcontinental automobile race from Seattle to New York City in six days less than the winner of the race! This made Marie the first woman to cross the United States by car. Arriving in Sarasota in 1909, the Selby name was overshadowed by the more prominent business characters Palmer, Burns, Payne and Ringling. This did not prevent the Selby’s from accruing recognition through their generous donations to educational scholarships and the trust that maintains the Marie Selby Botanical Garden, located on the Selby property. The garden is evidence of Marie’s love of the outdoors, which occupied much of her time whenever William was away on business.

Photo courtesy of the Sarasota County Department of Historical Resources.