Dearborn Street in the old downtown area of Englewood is in the "historic" district.
It is the area of town where the Pioneers Days, Halloween, 4th of July celebrations
happen. There are also several art shows and the Cruizin on Dearborn events here.
The shops and restaurants on Dearborn Street vary from wine to beer taste... and sometimes both. This area is quiet during most of the summer months and livens up during the winter.
**Note: This is not a wheelchair friendly area. The sidewalks and transitions to cross streets are rough. Many of the old stores have 1-2" doorway blocks with narrow doors. The historic hardware has stairs with no access for wheelchairs.
This strip of shops is from the 1950,s and 60's. It has evolved over the years from Mae's Flower Shop and Brandy's Five and Dime Store to Coffee, Art, and touristy shops.
This was the old Woodbine restaurant in the 50's and 60's which had the famous waitress "Dolly". She looked like Marilyn Monroe and delivered a delicious cheeseburger on a toasted bum...bun with golden french fries. It's now a Mexican Restaurant which had a burrito last time I ate there.
The little jewelry store is next door in an old house
This is a nice spot to have a coffee or bite to eat under the old oak tree while watching the paint dry...or the traffic go by.
This was the old barber shop from the 50's and still has one in the building I think. I once found a $50 dollar bill laying on the ground behind this building when I was a kid.
This is the Lemon Bay Arts Alliance which is a group of local artists who show and sell their work here. It's
a great place to shop for interesting things from jewelry, paintings, sculptures, to furniture. Nice people
working in the place too!
It was the old post office building in the 60's and 70's.
The Vino Loco is a little wine cafe with a New York undertone.
This is the east end of the strip shops.
A nice fella owns this shop and sells art and jewelry as well as frames art work.
The Arts Alliance sponsors hand-painted benches along Dearborn Street so visitors can take a load off.
This building housed the Old Englewood Hardware store from I think the 40's until 2014 when it was sold. It now
houses the Historic Society.
My grandfather lived next door and used to "test" the new pliers. He had very strong hands so if he could squeeze the pliers and break them, the owner wouldn't buy them... ah, the trivia you wanted to know!
The gray building was my grandfather's home. It was moved to this land in the 1930's from about 8 miles north.
My father was born on the dining room table of this house in 1934. The buildings to the left were his gas station
and garage. There used to be two above ground gas tanks and a car lift outside with a pit under it. The little
building had two gas pumps in the front and a big glass jar in the window with Double-Bubble gum in it. On the
front of the station was a Coca-Cola soda machine with ice cold glass bottles in it for 10 cents..my favorite
place to visit as a kid.
In the 70's, I worked here for my aunt and uncle pumping gas for two summers. I was 14 making $2 an hour which is more money than minimum wage today. Gas was 32 cents a gallon, coke was 15 cents a bottle, and a loaf of bread was 25 cents. I bought a running car for $75 and drove around town with no license..til I got caught by the sheriff.
The Old Methodist Church was founded by my grandmother, my great uncle Oscar Anderson, and some others. It now houses a museum. Even with my family having come to Sarasota county in the 1860's and my great-grandfather being the first elected county commissioner, you won't see much in the history of the area reflecting our existence. It's interesting that we don't really seem to have ever existed when we are gone.
Bobarinos Italian Restaurant is on the corner on Dearborn Street and Elm Street. They have pretty good food and good pizzas.
This is a park on Dearborn Street in the old downtown area. On Thursdays there is a farmers market here. Like many of the parks in this area, there is no accommodation for wheelchairs or strollers because the ground is covered in bark or sand..looks nice but does not work for wheels.
The public restroom for Dearborn Street is at the front of the public parking area behind the Lemon Bay Arts Alliance. The entrance walk area is dangerous where the Sarasota county placed some stepping stones on the steep grass bank. If you can navigate across the gravel on the backside of the building, then you can get on the sidewalk. The restrooms are very small and limited accessibility. If you are a chair user, this is a tough restroom to use. The sidewalk is narrow and the door is hard to open, so be careful not to roll off backwards down the hill.
You can see the gravel. It's pretty course so wheelchair wheels sink in it.
The sidewalk is too narrow for a wheelchair and a pedestrian to pass each other. If you are in a chair, stay to the inside next to the wall so someone does not bump you off the edge and down the steep embankment. Some of the elderly people in the area are not steady on their feet, so don't trust them not to grab or push your chair while passing by you.
The restroom is small and tight inside. It's difficult to open the stall door without hitting the wall.
You can see the hillbilly sink that is difficult to reach...it's been nasty twice that I've been in it so bring some sanitary wipes with you.