Venice, Journey from Horse and Chaise (1985) marked the 25th anniversary of the Venice Public Library. The Friends commissioned Janet Snyder Matthews, author of Edge of Wilderness, a Settlement History of Manatee River and Sarasota Bay (1983) and Sarasota: Journey to Centennial (1985) to write it. Due to popular demand, and thanks to a generous donation by the Ehrhart Family Foundation, this comprehensive history of Venice has been reprinted.


Matthews's initial local research produced a National Register nomination (1975) of today's Historic Spanish Point in Osprey-- the first Sarasota County site listed. Working with community leaders and Palmer heirs led by Arthur M. Wood Sr., the group established a 501(c)3 corporation, Gulf Coast Heritage Inc, and in 1980 gained conditional management conveyance through the County Commission.

Janet earned a doctorate in American History from Florida State University (1999).  Her dissertation focused on the African American history of southwest Florida.  For five years, she served as State Historic Preservation Officer and Director, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State.  She was selected Associate Director for Cultural Resources and Keeper of the National Register, National Park Service in Washington, D.C. where she served six years. In 2009, she became a member of the University of Florida faculty to teach graduate level historic preservation courses. In March 2017, she joined the Office of the Vice President for University Relations to advance historic preservation marketing communications about St. Augustine and UF responsibilities there for state-owned historic properties.  She was most recently honored with the Secretary of State's Senator Bob Williams Award "in recognition of public service that has forever changed the course of historic preservation in Florida."

The author is married to attorney A. Lamar Matthews Jr., second-generation native of the Manatee-Sarasota region.  He is president and a founding member of the Matthews Eastmoore firm of trial lawyers.  He served as General Counsel to Governor Bob Graham; was elected President of the Young Lawyers section of the Florida Bar and served on the Florida Bar Board of Examiners. Their family resides on Roberts Bay.


Visit Collectors Gallery and Framery  to buy your copy of Venice, Journey from Horse and Chaise. 
(Proceeds from each sale go to the Friends of the Venice Public Library on behalf of the NEW LIBRARY CAMPAIGN)

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