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Its western edge is approximately 5.8 miles from the City of Sarasota, in the northeast- ern corner of the county, the Neighborhood Plan continues. "The area was first inhabited by Native Americans, particularly Seminoles," the doc- ument notes. After European settlers drove out those early residents, surveyors began assessing the land to identify resources that could be used for potential new settlements. Among the surveyors was John M. Irwin, who, in 1849, led a crew into the Old Miakka area and observed, "It is … good only for its fine timber and being a good range for cattle and hogs," according to J. Raymond Williams in A Historic Resources Survey of Old Miakka and Selected Portions of the Myakka River, Sarasota County, Florida, published in 1989. Later, cattle freely roamed the thousands of acres, with their ownership identified by branding. Ranchers relished what they called the "finest grazing lands in the State, known as the Miakka bottoms," Williams pointed out in his book. A map shows the focal area for the Old Miakka Neighborhood Plan. Fruitville Road is the primary east/west route in the center of the map. The county names (upper right corner) are transposed. The area is in Sarasota County. Image courtesy Sarasota County Sarasota News Leader June 6, 2014 Page 51

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