Chidsey Library Dedication: John and Ida Chidsey (1941). On May 12, 1941, Sarasota decided it needed a formal library. Having a makeshift library change hands and locations over the past 40 years, John and Ida Chidsey donated the $25,000 necessary to build the library. The dedication ceremony pictured above took place on November 13, 1941 in the Municipal Auditorium in front of an audience of 100 people. While the Sarasota High School band played, Mr. Chidsey was given a photo album that showed the day-to-day construction made possible by his family’s donation. As the library’s needs outgrew the space, the Selby Library was built and eventually relocated to downtown. The Chidsey building is now used as a museum for the historical society and as the Sarasota County Visitors Center. – Chelsey Lucas
Photo courtesy of the Sarasota County Department of Historical Resources.