An article in The Sarasota Times newspaper in April of 1914 reported a new subdivision named Newtown was being developed and offering residents lots for small weekly payments, with 17 acres of land divided into 96 lots. This is the first use of the name Newtown to recognize the new community established east of the Seaboard railroad tracks on Orange Ave. A year later the developer C.N. Thompson reported 40 acres opened up with 210 lots available, so far 132 lots had been purchased and half a dozen homes built. This year Newtown will be celebrating its centennial starting April 17, 2014 with an opening ceremony at Fredd Atkins Park on Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The Newtown Centennial Steering Committee will be working and collaborating with the community, churches, organizations, businesses, and groups that will be hosting centennial-themed events though April 2015.
For me, being born and raised in Newtown - this is very exciting news - to know that I am apart of such a rich heritage. Just last week we celebrated my great-auntie Mary Morris’s 99th birthday. She shared with me what it was like back-in-the-day when she arrived in Sarasota from Montgomery, Alabama. The roads were dirt and they used an outhouse, there were no inside plumbing back then. They loved the weather so much; they made Sarasota their home. Soon after, more of my family members began to migrate to the Sunshine State - my mother came from Texas to visit and never left. My father came by way of the growing citrus farms. He too fell in love with Sarasota and made it his home as well.
If you would like to volunteer or get involved in the Newtown Centennial please contact: Che Barnett at 941-358-7860
Mary Butler – ABCD practitioner and SCOPE Volunteer