Sarasota News Leader

12/27/2013

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THINKING OF MABLE Lions, contributed to the original project by John Ringling, stand guard along the path to the fountain. Photo by Norman Schimmel A FOUNTAIN FLOWS ANEW IN REMEMBRANCE OF A LEADING LADY OF THE CITY By Stan Zimmerman City Editor There is a traffic light on U.S. 41 where the Tamiami Trail turns west and U.S. 301 splits off to go north. Some night you may be first in line, stopped at that light. Something new is there if you look beyond the pavement and into the park. It is a fountain dancing in colored lights, brought back to life after half a century of lying buried and almost forgotten. outpost of civilization. But over the next two decades, she chose to expend her time and energy making her winter home a place of beauty for all to enjoy. Mable Ringling came to the city in 1909 when it was not much more than a pioneer village. As the wife of circus tycoon John, she could have remained aloof from the dusty doings of what must have seemed to her a remote In 1936, with the city in the grip of the Great Depression, the Sarasota Federation of Garden Circles voted to build a memorial to Mable — a fountain in Luke Wood Park near what is now downtown Sarasota. The Rotary In 1925, the village was granted a municipal charter by the Florida Legislature and became a city. In 1926, a causeway was opened to Lido Key, but later in the year, the bloom fell from Its lights subtly change color from dusk the Florida rose. Mable died in 1929, having until dawn, playfully illuminating this kinetic seen the community rise from a fishing vilremembrance of one of the women who lage to a true city. And she could recognize helped put Sarasota on the path to beauty. her handiwork in many spots.

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