Joseph Herman Simpson remembered when Manatee County was split in two, and the eastern half became DeSoto County. His recollection, published in the Bradentown Herald in 1915, mentions that the delegates met in the “skating rink” in Pine Level in 1887 (http://www.sarasotahistoryalive.com/stories/journals-of-yesteryear/history-of-manatee-county-florida-chapter-12). What kind of skating rink?
Roller skating, of course: Pine Level’s subtropical climate kept ponds and lakes from freezing, and artificially freezing an ice skating rank in the 1880s had only been successful in large cities such as London.
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