Longboat Key Historical Society
WELCOME TO THE
FROM THE BEGINNING
From the native Timucuan, Tocabaga and Caloosa tribes who as early as 500 B.C. inhabited Longboat Key, to Spanish explorers who landed on our shores in the 1500s; from homesteaders who fished and farmed the island in the 1880s, to the arrival of the wealthy industrialists of the 20’s, like John Ringling and his protégés, the history of Longboat Key is long and rich.
With a desire to create a connection between past and present, to honor the legacy of the pioneers who came before us and with a desire to preserve our historical archives, Longboat Observer founders Ralph and Claire Hunter established The Longboat Key Historical Society in 1980. The Hunters were committed to collecting and maintaining stories, photos and memorabilia related to Longboat Key’s past and to increasing awareness of our heritage, as a gateway to the future. They believed a viable Historical Society would be an important community amenity, like those found in all great cities and towns.
Guided by dedicated volunteers for the past 37 years, but without a permanent home, the society is now entering an exciting new era as we prepare to create a forever home in two of the historic Whitney Beach cottages, which were once part of the Whitney Beach Resort that lined the north end beachfront. The society has embarked on a fundraising campaign to bring our heritage and history to life, in these charming historical cottages. The Society remains dedicated to the preservation of our history and to the continued enhancement of our precious island community.