A few history notes about the Keith Farmhouse at Phillippi
To celebrate Historic Preservation Month, there will be an Open House at Phillippi Estate Park’s Keith Farmhouse on Wednesday, May 1, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The farmhouse exterior has been restored while the interior is still “a work in progress.”
The clapboard farmhouse at Phillippi Estate Park is the original building erected on the Edson Keith estate in 1916. The farmhouse was officially declared an historic structure by the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.
Edson Keith bought the 60-acre plot of land along Philippi Creek when he retired from the millinery business in Chicago. Mr. Keith first built the farmhouse and lived there while he oversaw the construction of his Italian Renaissance Mansion. The farmhouse then housed the farm workers and household staff.
[clearboth]The second owner of the estate was another Chicagoan, Mae Hansen Prodie, owner of a doll company. She made her fortune designing wardrobes and accessories for Barbie dolls. While Mae was in the Far East setting up factories to manufacture doll clothing, her husband, Charlie Prodie, a retired Walgreen’s executive, opened the Phillippi Plantation Inn and Restaurant. The farmhouse was used by paying guests who would come out to the country from Sarasota to spend the weekends during the 1950’s.
After her husband’s death, Mae Prodie retired to the estate and rented rooms and suites in the farmhouse to artists and young people. She died in 1986. Sarasota County purchased the estate in a referendum for $5.2 million.
The farmhouse is currently under renovation to become an interpretive center, featuring old photographs and memorabilia of life in the early days of Sarasota. The building remains a vivid reminder of Sarasota’s origins and the people who helped build the community.
When renovated, the farmhouse will become an interpretive center, featuring old photographs and memorabilia of life in the early days of Sarasota. The building remains a vivid reminder of Sarasota’s origins and the people who helped build the community.
Elsewhere on the Phillippi Estate
The Phillippi Farmhouse Market continues the month of May, each Wednesday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. with fresh fruits and vegetables, prepared foods, local artisans with unique handicrafts and Florida agriculturally related products, including USDA certified organic produce and hydroponics. There is always music, ample parking, handicap accessibility, and Phillippi Estate Park is dog friendly.
To honor the country’s veterans, the Sarasota Concert Band will perform at the Gazebo in Phillippi Estate Park on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. For more information, please call 941-364-2263.
Historic Mansion Closed through October
The Phillippi Estate Tours ended Wed March 27 as Phillippi Estate Park has chiller construction project impacting Mansion. Mansion is closed till end of August. Historic Mansion tours will resume with the Phillippi Farmhouse Market’s re-opening on Wednesday, October 2.
Phillippi Estate Park
5500 South Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, Florida 34231