Monday, February 2, 2015 / by Chip Deacon
One of South Sarasota's hidden Communities is a place called River Forest. East of US41 and sitting on Phillippi Creek, this little gem started as wilderness concealing the activities of area bootleggers as they broiught in cargo from the Gulf of Mexico during the 1920's and 1930s.
A retired US Congressman from New Hampshire, Edward Wason, built a winter estate in the neighborhood in 1940 with his wife Susan. Mrs. Wason, staying on after his death, related the difficulties of traversing the wild terrain as five of her lady friends had to use their dresses as traction for the tires of their auto-mobile when stuck in the muck and mire! They were quite a sight when re-dressed and returning to the Trail afterwards!! She also poetically recalled the abundance of wildlife and the beauty of the majestic oaks.
Can you imagine women dressed like this shedding their frocks and using them for... tire traction???
By the late 1950s, the appearance of River Forest was changing rapidly as the original estate's parcels were sold. Many of the 86 homes date back to the 50s and 60s. Mrs. Wason sold her home to Mr. & Mrs. Charles Cutler who owned Cutler Motors selling foreign autos including the British Motor Corp. and were licensed for Porsche and Jaguar. Sarasota's first Mayor, A.E. Edwards handled their transaction. The Cutlers made many improvements to the Wason home, then sold it to Bob & Ann Des Rochers, the current owners who also took on an enlargement and restoration of the home in 1998.
Even with the development and construction of homes, the are remains pristine, serene and a haven for the wildlife and natural beauty to which Mrs. Wason attested so many decades ago!
River Forest is close to the Landings Shopping Center, just 10 minutes from Siesta Key, and 15 minutes south of Downtown. The Phillippi Creek Oyster Bar and The Table restaurants are within walking distance also. Some of the Residents have lived in River Forest for 30 - 40 years giving it a very-well established attitude and great place to feel at home!
Let's book a run into River Forest together and discover WHY it’s such a special place to live!
CHIP DEACON, Broker-Associate
Cell: 941-302-8717 Off: 941-357-4031
The Extreme Home Selling Team
Keller Williams On The Water Sarasota
22 Links Avenue; Sarasota, FL 34236