Cities Near Naples, Florida » Venice, Florida
Venice is a city in Sarasota County, Florida, United States. The city includes what locals call “Venice Island”, a portion of the mainland that is accessed via bridges over the artificially-created, intercoastal waterway. The city is located south of Nokomis and north of Englewood. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 20,748. It is noted for its large snowbird population and was voted as a top 10 Happiest Seaside Towns by Coastal Living.
In the 1870s, Richard Roberts established a homestead near Roberts Bay. In 1884, he sold a portion of his holdings to Frank Higel. Higel established a citrus operation involving the production of several lines of canned citrus items, and for the next 30 years the Higel family members were boat builders, fishermen, grove caretakers and contractors. Darwin Curry was the first postmaster. The Higel and Curry families chose the name “Venice” for their community post office, located south of Shakett Creek on what is now Portia Street in the unincorporated community of Nokomis.
The first railroad to Venice was built in 1911, paving the way for new development and expansion. Development in Venice occurred slowly, and it remained a small fishing town and farming community through the first part of the 1920s. In 1925, Dr. Fred H. Albee, a well-known orthopedic surgeon, purchased 2,916 acres (11.80 km2) of land from the Venice-Sarasota Company. Albee had previously developed Nokomis and built its first luxury hotel, known as the Pollyanna Inn. Albee retained John Nolen, a world-renowned city planner, to design a city on his land. Fred Albee, however, did not have a chance to implement his city plan before he was approached with a proposal from the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers to purchase his land in October 1925. The purchase was motivated by a desire by the BLE to increase the union’s assets and holdings in the area.