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Palmer Ranch History

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Palmer Ranch is a larger-than-life, massive, master planned real estate community, located between the cities of Sarasota and Osprey. It encompasses some astounding 80,000 acres and boasts a very rich history. Today, it is home to hundreds upon hundreds of residents. But it once was the site of rural cattle ranches. Palmer Ranch derives its name from the namesake of the visionary woman who first brought industry to the area.


There are twenty six communities in Palmer Ranch and all offer the best of Florida living. There is truly something for everyone in Palmer Ranch Sarasota and it is here you’ll find wooded preserves, lakes, trails, swimming pools, fitness centers, and many more resident amenities. No matter what type of residence, size, or features you're looking for, it's here waiting for you to discover. Speaking of discovery, the history of this beautiful master planned community is quite interesting.

Palmer Ranch History


"She dined with kings and dressed like royalty. She took the $8 million her late husband left her and turned it into $20 million. She had the confidence and bearing to transform wilderness into farms, and convince hard-bitten cattlemen to change their ways. An in-law of a president (U.S. Grant) and a prince (Russia's Prince Cantacuzene), she wasn't above walking the fields with her hired hands, speaking to them as if equals," Harold Bubil wrote about Bertha Palmer in the Herald Tribune in January of 2010.


The socialite was 23 years younger than her husband, Potter Palmer, a New York City born, Chicago businessman who greatly contributed to the development of State Street. He died on May 4, 1902, leaving his younger bride an incredible $8 million estate. One day, while reading the Chicago Sunday Tribune, Bertha Palmer came across an advertisement for land for sale in Sarasota, Florida. She imagined life among the swaying palm trees and warm Gulf of Mexico breeze.


Palmer became one of the very first renowned winter visitors of the Sarasota area. The art patron and businesswoman purchased the same 80,000 acres of undeveloped land Palmer Ranch is situated on today. Of the total acreage, she devoted 25,000 to cattle ranching, naming it "Meadow Sweet Pastures." She also devoted acreage to orange groves. At that time, in 1910, there were only 840 residents in the area but the "Queen of Chicago" changed all of that, putting Sarasota on the map.


But, she faced challenges in her pioneering. Cattle fell victim to a widespread tick problem. Palmer was among the first to "dip" her cattle to fend off those ticks and because of its effectiveness, it would eventually become law in the state of Florida in 1942. Palmer only lived in the Sarasota area for eight years, never remarrying, and dying on July 25, 1918. However, her legacy lives on, with Honore Avenue bearing her maiden name.

About Palmer Ranch Real Estate


There really is something for everyone in Palmer Ranch. Here, you'll find a variety of homes: condos, townhouses, villas, single-family homes, and million-dollar estates. Swimming, fishing, golfing, tennis, walking, biking, canoeing, sightseeing, sunbathing, and so much more outdoor recreation opportunities are all right here. The PGA's Tournament Players Club at Prestancia is just one of many examples of what's available.


Palmer Ranch is comprised of many communities, each with their own distinct offerings:


  • Arbor Lakes

  • Arielle

  • Bella Villino

  • Botanica

  • Cobblestone

  • Deer Creek

  • Hammock Preserve

  • Hamptons

  • Huntington Pointe

  • Isles of Sarasota

  • Legacy Estates

  • Marbella

  • Mira Lago

  • Palisades

  • Palmer Oaks

  • Palmer Square

  • Pinestone

  • Plaza De Flores

  • Prestancia

  • Sandhill Preserve

  • Serenade

  • Silver Oak

  • Stonebridge

  • Stoneybrook

  • Turtle Rock

  • Village Walk

  • Vintage Grand

  • Wellington Chase


The vast master planned community is also close to schools, dining, shopping, beaches, hospitals, and arts and entertainment. But it's also still a growing, thriving community, with plenty to offer. It's also just as affordable or as affluent as you like. Homes can be found for under $100,000, and going up to 1M+. Here, homes range in size from under 1,000 sf to 5,000sf+. Floor plans are just as diverse, ranging from 1 bed, 1 bath to 4+ bed 4+ bath homes.


Some of the more popular communities include Turtle Rock, Deer Creek, Village Walk, and Silver Oak.


A rated public schools include: Ashton Elementary, Sarasota Middle School, Riverview High School, and Pine View, which educates from elementary through high school. The Westfield Sarasota Square Mall is a popular retail destination and there are three Publix supermarkets, considered some of the best in the state of Florida.


So, whether you're looking for the white sands of Siesta Key Beach, want to enjoy some sailing, snorkeling, or diving, like to hit the links, or just love the experience of the Florida lifestyle, there's nothing you won't find in and around Palmer Ranch in Sarasota. For more information about Palmer Ranch and its delightful communities, contact us or phone 941-363-1507.