Palmer Ranch is a massive real estate development in Sarasota County, Florida between the cities of Sarasota and Osprey. Located south of Clark Road and east of Rt 41, it was part of the original 80,000 acres of Florida land purchased by Bertha Honoré Palmer, wife of Chicago department store tycoon Potter Palmer, best known for the famed Palmer House hotel in Chicago. It is one of many former Florida cattle ranches developed into planned community.
Bertha Palmer, known as Mrs. Potter Palmer, came to Sarasota in 1910, and made a property on Little Sarasota Bay called Spanish Point her winter home. A progressive woman, she improved agricultural methods and added lavish gardens and buildings; today that land is the Historic Spanish Point garden and historic site. While the house The Oaks is gone, outbuildings and landscape remain, including remnants of designs by Achilles Duchene, after whom the Duchene Garden is named. Other former Palmer family holdings now open to the public include the Myakka River State Park and an expansion of Oscar Scherer State Park.
After her death, Bertha Palmer gave the land to her sons Potter Jr. and Honore, who continued developing the property as a ranch. In addition, they make the Palmer name as associated with Sarasota as Chicago with the establishment of the Palmer Bank.
Today, Palmer Ranch is a large master planned community of neighborhoods on over 10,000. It has become one of the most popular areas of Sarasota to live because of its very well planned out neighborhoods, location to many conveniences, and the diversity of housing styles from maintenance free condos to million dollar estates. Palmer Ranch is home to over 30 different neighborhoods. If you have every considered living in Sarasota perhaps looking at what Palmer Ranch has to offer may be a very good first step.