NCF–Feagan & Hummel

Joy Feagan & Kana Hummel

New College of Florida

Mission Statement:

Our goal is to showcase the Sarasota community’s experiences during WWI and the Spanish Influenza. While we plan to touch upon both of these events specifically, we want to dedicate a lot of our site to broader experiences of the community during the time period. What happened in Sarasota during the Great War, and how relevant (or irrelevant) was the international community to these changes?

Thus far we have been unable to find much related to Sarasota during the Spanish Influenza. We have found a lot of material related to Florida in general.

Besides the information itself, a large goal of our project is to present this information in an accurate, comprehensible manner through a digital medium. We plan to maintain historical integrity while also making the site accessible to non-academics. We will use images and avoid large blocks of text, along with an appropriate theme, to make the site attractive.

The intended audience of our website are students (who are particularly interested in Sarasota history or want to look at the site as an example of a digital history project) and those who live here. We are also aware of the fact that some who are interested in the Great War, but know little about Sarasota, may visit the site. To account for this, our homepage will provide appropriate regional context.

The site will be marketed on campus through an email sent through our official, moderated Students List, which goes to the entire student body. It will also be posted on the more casual [forum], a students’ email thread that functions as a student forum. This is slightly less moderated than the Students List and students may opt out of receiving its posts. On the other hand, some students ignore Students List emails and frequent the [forum]. Posting to both places should get word out to most, if not all, of the student body. Professor David Harvey, the head of the Social Sciences division and a history professor, is arranging for Kana and I to give a talk presenting our website and experience with the class. This also will be advertised on the Students List and the [forum], but Dr. Harvey will additionally invite faculty members.

The Historical Society of Sarasota County has agreed to share the website through their members’ email blast. We are also in the process of arranging a mention on the Sarasota History Alive blog ( This ensures that all of those in the area already interested in Sarasota history will be made aware of the site.



The homepage will introduce our project with an “About” page and will display the Century America logo. The sections will be displayed at the top of the site. These sections include:


  1. the urbanization/developments of Sarasota
    1. Focused on information found in the Sarasota-Times along with photographs.
    2. The homepage will introduce the oral history of Harriet Burns, daughter of Owen Burns, who was the main developer in Sarasota during the 1910s-20s. Though most of what we recorded with Harriet involves her describing her father’s efforts, she was also able to give some more specific information that will be included in different parts of the site. Rather than including her oral history in one long video, clips from our talk with her will be split up around the site. Each separate clip will come with a link back to this main introductory video and a blurb reminding viewers who Harriet is.
    3. Subheadings on Agriculture, Railroads, Paving, and Entertainment/Tourism (hotels and golf courses).
      1. Much of the information on agriculture will come from two brochures published by the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce in 1914. Information on the other subtopics will come from newspapers.
    4. The Story of Billy Doyle
      1. A teenager who left Baltimore in 1914 at age 16 to come pave roads in Sarasota. He kept a detailed photo album of his time in Sarasota. Each photo has a humorous caption. The album culminates in Billy’s military involvement in the Great War. It’s a great representation of the laborers in Sarasota’s development. Harriet, who now owns the diary, allowed us to scan it and gave us permission to post it online. It will be introduced by her in a video clip.
  2. The War Effort
    1. Subheading on the naval militia
      1. Mostly informed by the Sarasota-Times.
    2. Will include discussion on the city’s role in national war efforts
      1. Liberty Bonds
      2. Red Cross service
      3. Video clip of Harriet describing binoculars she has. Her father responded to a national call to donate binoculars to the army, with the promise that they would be returned after the war. Sure enough, they were, and nicely represent small ways Sarasotans got involved.
    3. Women in the war effort
      1. Discussion of the women’s naval militia, formed alongside the men’s.
    4. The Sarasota War Memorial
      1. Placed downtown in 1917 to welcome back veterans from the Great War. It still exists on Main Street. This section will chronicle the memorial overtime with plenty of photographs. Some more recent articles from the local Herald Tribune discuss this.
  3. Social experiences
    1. Transcriptions, and possible scans, of the diary kept by a young woman who lived in Sarasota during the 1910s. Will be introduced by a video clip from Harriet.
      1. A timeline will guide visitors through diary entries.
    2. the Women’s Club
      1. Possible commentary related to the Women’s Club’s role in the war effort. Guided by clippings from the Sarasota Times, an official plaque in front of the original Women’s Club house, and some information from Harriet.
    3. Disease
      1. Will touch upon what little information we’ve found about influenza in Sarasota. Sarasota-Times Health Warnings, beginning October 1918, and reports of cases.
      2. Information about Sarasota’s reputation as a “health resort,” including some background details of the Halton Sanitarium, opening in 1908, and also acting as a hotel by 1910. Relevant information is from the Sarasota Herald Tribune.
  1. Bibliography
  2. About the researchers section




For our site, we plan on using the Hemingway Rewritten theme. The layout is simple and easy to navigate. It neatly displays the different sections at the top of the page.

Because much of our story involves the development of Sarasota, a TimelineJS will be included. This timeline will chronicle the growth of the city during the 1910s. For example, when a new road was approved and when it was built.

Final Cut Pro will be used for editing the oral history component of the site.



March 6: Set up theme, create skeleton structure of site, start writing up some of the sections.

March 13: Finish section on War Effort, minus clips from Harriet.

March 16: Finish section on Development, minus clips from Harriet and Billy Doyle section.

March 20: Finish section on Social Life, minus clips from Harriet.

April 6: Have video editing completed along with the transcription.

April 7: Finish Billy Doyle subheading under Development.

April 8: Complete separating video clips to appropriate areas on the website.

Apr. 1: First version due, minus video clips.

Apr. 22: Revised version due


Distribution of Labor:

Joy: I will make the timeline. In order to do this, I will read all relevant articles in the Sarasota-Times. From this I will get relevant dates. I will also use the information found in these articles to describe what went into building up Sarasota. I will use secondary sources, including Over Here, to add nationally and internationally relevant dates.

I will similarly read the newspapers for relevant information about the narrative surrounding the war effort and development. Within those sections, Kana will be writing about the women’s naval militia and agriculture.

Kana: I will work on the layout of the website and edit the video. I will also focus on the social experience and agriculture section of the site. The sources I will be using include guidebooks, newspaper articles, and secondary readings on Sarasota history.


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