Historic Markers Across Florida



Buchan Airport and Tamiami Trail



Marker ID:  
Location: On Old Eaglewood Rd at the Buchan Airport, Eaglewood, FL
County: Sarasota
Coordinates: N 26° 59.277    W 082° 22.151
  26.98795    -82.36918333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WM5WE7
 



Text:

Buchan Airport

During the heyday of land speculation in the 1920´s, a development of slightly less than 100 acres was planned west of (now) Old Englewood Road at N. Indiana Ave. Designed as a Mecca for vacationing stars and the wealthy, it was to be called Hygeia. Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford reportedly would build there.

On the subdivision plat that was filed April 21, 1925, the streets were given Native American names. Today, the remaining street is Osceola Drive. When the Great Florida Land Boom suddenly ended, Hygeia was forgotten.

In April 1949, on the advice of Peter E. Buchan, Sarasota County purchased 93 acres of the Hygeia land for an airport. The new mosquito eradication program planned to use the airport for aerial spraying in the southern part of the county. The County Commissioners named the airport to honor Buchan´s "long and efficient service to the county."

Beginning in the 1960´s, homes with hangers were built along Osceola Road. After neighbors raised safety concerns, the county commissioners adopted the Buchan Airport Master Plan in 2003.


Tamiami Trail

In 1900, south Florida was wild and unsettled. On the west coast of Florida, Ft. Myers could be reached from the north by steamer, and after 1904, by rail, but there was no land connection from there to the east coast. Discussion of a Ft. Myers to Miami in 1915 expanded to talk of a Tampa to Miami road after E. P. Dickey of Tampa suggested the name Tamiami Trail.

Surveying and preliminary work began through alligator infested swamps with the help of Seminole guides. Work progressed slowly. Drilling machines often sank in the muck. Ox teams hauled dynamite that was used to loosen the limestone, which was used for the foundation of the roadway.

After 13 years, the trail was completed. In Sarasota County the route followed earlier roads from Sarasota to Venice. South of Venice the trail followed Old Englewood Road and Dearborn Street through Englewood. The official opening was celebrated on April 25, 1928, with the Governor and his huge entourage traveling the length of the new road.

Shortly after, economic hard times arrived. Road planners eliminated the Englewood loop as unnecessary.

Sarasota County Historical Commission


Notes:

City: Englewood, FL

Buchan's Landing was where the old sailing ships docked, bringing goods and supplies from Tampa to Englewood in the days before there were any roads.