is an opportunity to enjoy a stroll along a trail that wanders
through an ever-changing landscape of cool, under-story jungle
growth and around open pond shorelines. As one meanders
through Sarasota Jungle Gardens, a magnificent and wildy
overgrown paradise, one wonders how such an abundance began.
the land was a swampy banana grove listed in the city records as
'an impenetrable swamp'. A local newspaperman, David
Breed Lindsay, purchased these 10 lush acres in the early 1930's
with plans to develop the virgin subtropical jungle into a
Conrad, was a friend of David Breed Lindsay. He owned an
adjacent nursery and shared Lindsay's dream. Conrad charted
streams, planned the lakes and provided many additional
plantings from his nursery.
thumbs intact, they brought in thousands of tropical plants,
trees and flowers from all over the world. These flourish
harmoniously with native species. All of the numerous plants
today are dispersed throughout the various areas of the Park,
Gardens of Christ, open lagoons, Tiki Garden and within our
dense forested jungle. Some of our prized possessions include
the rare Australian Nut Tree, a Bunya Bunya tree, the largest
Norfolk Island pine in Florida, Bulrush, Strangler Figs, Royal
Palms, Selloums, Banana Trees, Peruvian Apple Cactus, Staghorn
Ferns and native Red Maples, Oak Trees and Bald Cypress.
1936, noticing that a number of people were wandering through
the jungle, Lindsay and Conrad established an admission fee of
10 cents for children and 35 cents for adults. It was decided in
December of 1940 to open Sarasota Jungle Gardens as a special
place for local enthusiasts and tourists. In 1958, Eldon R.
Lindsey, of Atlanta, purchased the property. In 1965, Dr. George
Baughman, the first president of Sarasota's New College bought
the attraction, which was then sold to Arthur C. Allyn ( a
previous owner of the Chicago White Sox) in 1971.
the early years, some of the owners and their families lived on
the grounds, residing in what are now the snack bar/shell
museum. The Koi Carp pool, just outside the snack bar, was
originially a swimming pool connected to the estate house.
Eventually, a new admission building and gift shop were built.
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