Cortez Village Historical Society (Cultural Center)


​For 24 hours, starting at noon tomorrow TUESDAY September 20th to noon on WEDNESDAY September 21st your donation will be matched THREE times as part of the 2016 Giving Challenge Your donation of $25 becomes a $75, $50 becomes $150, and $100 turns into a $300 donation! (Matched up to $100)

Your donation is being matched by The Sarasota Community Foundation and The Patterson Foundation. The Cortez Village Historical Society has worked extremely hard at being able to participate in this. It has been a long grueling process to be accepted into this challenge along with 500 other non-profit organizations. This the first year for us at the Cortez Village Historical Society and we are very excited!

To participate in The 24 Hour 2016 Giving Challenge:
Make your donation through The Giving Challenge SECURE website, from Noon tomorrow September 20th to Noon September 21st here is a direct link http://bit.ly/GivingChallenge2016 This takes you right their!! Its EASY. All donations are 100% Tax Deductible and a receipt will be sent to the email address your provide. Here are our plans for the donations
1. Buying a computer program to photograph and digitalize all our items to museum standards
2. Make copies of our many oral histories and documentaries that are in various forms
3. Purchase a television that would accommodate the new DVD’s to play our oral histories and documentaries for our visitors to view 4. Our original photographs need museum quality containers for storage
5. Purchase a display case to view the WW ll military uniforms from the men and women from Cortez
6. We would like to add more native plants and trees to our grounds 7. Finish the interacting children’s corner
8. Buying materials to build some raised vegetable gardens for the community
http://bit.ly/GivingChallenge2016 you can click this link as well!!

Our website is still under construction, coming soon! The 2016 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation, as well as support from Manatee Community Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, and the Herald-Tribune Media Group.


Copyright © 2016 cortez village historical society, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 663, Cortez FL. 34215

Published in: on September 19, 2016 at 10:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cortez Village Cultural Center

by Karen Riley-Love *

For twenty-four hours, starting at noon on September 20th, your donation to the Cortez Village Historical Society will be matched THREE times as part of the 2016 Giving Challenge!

Your donation of $25 becomes a $75 donation!

Your donation of $100 turns into a $300 donation!

Make your donation here http://bit.ly/GivingChallenge2016

The 2016 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation, as well as support from Manatee Community Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, and the Herald-Tribune Media Group.


Published in: on September 17, 2016 at 2:03 pm  Leave a Comment  


The Cortez Village Historical Society is excited that in just a few more days we will be debuting our new websight! We have been working hard to bring information to our loyal Cortez Village friends near and far. The websight will have our upcoming events, and lots of photos to enjoy! OUR FACEBOOK HAS BEEN UP FOR ABOUT 6 MONTHS YOU CAN ENJOY THAT AS WELL LOTS OF GREAT PICTURES! find us at; CORTEZ VILLAGE CULTURAL CENTER

We’re thrilled to be part of the 2016 Giving Challenge through the Sarasota County Community Foundation. It occurs for 24 hours, from noon to noon on September 20-21, you will be able to support the CVHS and our new Cultural Center. The best part?…your donation will be tripled by two foundations, SO for a $25.00 contribution we receive $75.00 and a $100.00 we receive $300.00
All donations are through the Foundation’s secure server. and are 100% tax deductible.
Click Here to find out more and to donate FROM NOON ON SEPTEMBER 20TH TO NOON ON SEPTEMBER 21ST :.https://www.givingpartnerchallenge.org/

or view our giving challenge profile at :http://thegivingpartner.guidestar.org/nonprofit.aspx?orgId=1147764

The Cortez Cultural Center has come a long way since May of 2013. Our address is 11655 Cortez Rd., PO Box 663, Cortez, FL 34215. We are open Thursdays through Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Parking is available at the Cortez Cultural Center or at the Florida Maritime Museum and at the FISH Preserve.
We have a new roof, donated by Manson Roofing, electrical was done by Reynolds Electric , the house moved by RE Johnson and Son. The inside was totally redone by Bob Landry and John McDonald (volunteers). We have landscaped with 38 new bushes, two trees and lots of native plants with the kind donation from Manatee River Garden Club and planted by C.V.H.S volunteers. The interior now houses displays about Cortez; for example: Cortez history beginning in 1880 through current times, family genealogies, music, Captains and their boats, Women, Veteran, businesses, movies and books about Cortez, and the Albion Inn story..
Copyright © *2016|* *|Cortez Village Historical Society|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is: Cortez Village Historical Society P.O Box 663 Cortez, FL. 34215


Published in: on September 16, 2016 at 1:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Help Support CVHS – Giving Challenge Sept 20 -21, 2016

On September 20 – September 21, 2016 from noon to noon, the Cortez Village Historical Society via The Giving Partner will engage our community in a 24-hour online day of giving.

Your contributions to CVHS during these two days will be matched 2 to 1 meaning you will make even more of an impact.

CVHS needs your financial support to continue to do the good work in Cortez.

Put this event on your calendar and plan to make an online contribution using the CVHS link on the web page.

This special matching contribution link will be available only on September 20 and 21, 2016.


The Cortez Cultural Center houses a museum that showcases the history of the Village of Cortez, one of Florida’s last active fishing communities.

Impact Statement

Over the past few years, the organization has changed tremendously, gaining a new space in which to host a public heritage center. In the past year alone, volunteers have restored the historic building including laying a new roof, refinishing the interior including rewiring the building, refinishing floor, ceiling and insulation, installing lighting, creating a wheelchair ramp, and adding climate control. All new exhibits were created, and the Cultural Center opened for business to the public.

Goals for the upcoming year:

  1. Growing our audience and increasing awareness of the Cultural Center’s existence.
  2. We are determined in reaching as many local residents as possible to continue our mission of recording cultural, historical, and genealogical memories of the Village.
  3. We strive to make the public aware of our resources through special events, exhibitions, and programming.
  4. We also continue to work on methods of generating operating revenue and increasing membership.

Objectives for 2016

  1. Open the Cortez Cultural Center Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm.
  2. Hire and use a museum consultant to assist us with the presentation of our pictures and records.
  3. Write interpretive stories to explain and capture the interests of our visitors.
  4. Using a small museum database tool, digitally record and document our accessions.
  5. Plan a landscape for the cottage that utilizes both ornamental and native Florida plants.

Needs Statement

1. Website site development, including new website to reflect opening of new facility. Also to include hosting domain name registry. $1000 creation, $200/year operation
2. Wifi and phone connection and operating costs. Our ability as a genealogical research facility depends in a large part to access databases. $600/year
3. Archival supplies to continue to preserve artifacts to the highest museum standards. Examples include acid free tissue paper, acid free garment and photo boxes, photographic housing, and accessioning materials. $500, ongoing material use.
4. Printing costs for temporary and changing exhibitions, bi-or tri-annually $500-1000.
5. Exhibition cases, clothing mounts, archival materials for exhibition building. $500-5,000.

Published in: on August 30, 2016 at 11:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Josephine T. Coarsey

Josephine T. Coarsey, 91, Cortez, died Aug 20, 2016. Born in White Haven, PA. moved to Cortez, FL. 72 years ago. Preceded in death by parents; Chester & Julie Okrasinski, loving husband of 72 years Wyman Coarsey.

A loving and devoted housewife and mother of six, Yvonne (Miles) Lacey of Bradenton, Thomas (Sharon) Coarsey of Murphy, NC. Donald (Carol) Coarsey of Palmetto, Debbie Coarsey of Murphy NC. Mark (Becky) Coarsey of Bradenton, FL. Tanya (Joe) Bass of Manchester, TN. 14 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and 2 great-great-grands.

Visitation is 12-1pm Tuesday, August 23, 2016 with services to follow at 1pm at Brown & Sons Funeral & Crematory 604 43rd St. Chapel in Bradenton, FL. Pallbearers; Tom Coarsey, Donnie Coarsey, Mark Coarsey, Lee Coarsey, Miles Lacey, Noah Andrews.

Condolences to www.brownandsonsfuneral.com

Published in: on August 23, 2016 at 12:09 am  Comments (1)  

Judith Ruth Augsburger


Judith Ruth Augsburger 82, went to be with her Lord Jesus on August 2, 2016. She died at her home in Bluffton, Ohio.

Judith was born to the late John L McDonald and Mamie Ruth (Bonnell) McDonald in Cortez. Raised in a commercial fishing family she grew up eating mullet that her father provided from fishing and it was her favorite meal along with some grits.

On February 12, 1956, she married Bill Augsburger, who preceded her in death on April 19, 1987. Judith was a graduate of Manatee High School and a member of Samoset Baptist Church. She was a beautician, a housekeeper and along with her husband Bill, they owned and operated the Horseshoe Bar in Bluffton Ohio. She was also a Sunday School Teacher and Girl Scout Leader. Judith was preceded in death by great-granddaughter, Sadie Brodman; brother, Joseph McDonald; sister, Jacqueline Mofield. Survivors include son, John Augsburger of Zebulon, NC; daughter, April Dorman of Bluffton, OH; son Kevin Augsburger of Bradenton, FL; 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Visitation 1:00-2:00PM with Services to follow at 2:00PM, Monday, August 8, 2016 at Samoset Baptist Church, 3200 15th Street East Bradenton Florida. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 26th Street Chapel, 5624 26th Street west, Bradenton, FL 34209 is in charge of arrangements.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Florida Maritime Museum 4115 119th Street West Cortez Florida 34215. Condolences may be made to www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.

Published in: on August 5, 2016 at 7:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Cortez Bridge alternatives on deck at Aug. 9 DOT meet


A map shows the area the Florida Department of Transportation is studying as it determines the future of the Cortez Bridge. Islander Graphic: Courtesy DOT

A public meeting about the project development and environment study on the future of the Cortez Bridge will be 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 9, at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 248 S. Harbor Drive, Holmes Beach.

The Florida Department of Transportation scheduled the open house, where people can ask questions and provide comments to DOT representatives in a one-on-one setting.

The DOT plans to show a video exploring alternatives for the bridge on State Road 684/Cortez Road. The Cortez Bridge connects Anna Maria Island to the mainland, spanning Sarasota Bay from Cortez on the east side to Bradenton Beach on the west side.

The DOT said the study limits are Cortez Road from State Road 789/Gulf Drive in Bradenton Beach to 123rd Street West in Cortez, a distance of about a mile.

In the engineering and environment study, the DOT is analyzing:

• A no-build option of continued repair of the existing bridge.

• Replacement with a 21-foot vertical clearance drawbridge.

• Replacement with a 35-foot vertical clearance drawbridge.

Replacement with a high-level fixed bridge within the existing corridor.

The DOT, in a bulletin, said it would send noticesof the forum to property owners within 300 feet of either side of SR 684 in the study limits, as well as people living or owning property west of 115th Street West on the mainland approach to the bridge and everyone who lives or owns property on Anna Maria Island and north Longboat Key.

The DOT “encourages all interested people to attend and express their views regarding the project and information presented,” the bulletin said.

For more information about the study, go online to www.cortezbridge.com.


Published in: on July 26, 2016 at 7:49 am  Leave a Comment  

Virgil Mora

Virgil Mora , 91, died June 17 at his home in Morresville, North Carolina.

Mr. Mora was born in Cortez and lived most of his life in Bradenton. He was the first son born to Albert and Estella Capo Mora.

He volunteered when World War II began in 1941 and served in the U.S. Navy. He was one of only four Cortez veterans surviving in 2016.

Upon returning home from the Navy, he fished for some years and then went to work for the Manatee County Utilities Department for two decades.

Plans are being made for a memorial service in September in Cortez.

Mr. Mora is survived by his wife, Peggy; sister Nola Jewell; nieces Anna, Diane and Linda; nephews Tracy, Scott, Joseph, Phyllip.

Published in: on July 12, 2016 at 7:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Consultant prefers high Cortez Bridge

From the Anna Maria Island Sun – June 15, 2016.

Published in: on June 14, 2016 at 4:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cortez Woman’s Club focused on children, church and communit y


The women of Cortez started the Mother’s Club of Cortez in 1918

Their interests and actions crept into regional and statewide politics as well

Devastating hurricane of 1921 wreaked havoc on Cortez that they could not easily recover from

The Cortez Church of God was established in the early 1900s.The Cortez Church of God was established in the early 1900s. Provided photo

The Cortez Church of God was established in the early 1900s. Provided photo

By Amara C. Nash

In the early years of Cortez Fishing Village, daily life was focused predominantly on fishing if you were a man, and domestic affairs if you were a woman. The men formed bonds via their shared struggles and triumphs, the women were inherently more secluded. They shared the common bond of having left behind many of the societal structures they were accustomed to, and alliances gradually emerged from the desire to rebuild community.

Religion was one of the early means by which women got involved outside the home. They would go in groups to attend religious services in Sarasota or Bradenton and, in 1913, they established a permanent Church of Christ congregation in Cortez. While men were certainly considered members of the church, the pews were mostly filled with women and children each Sunday. A second church, The Church of God, was established a few years later.

Children provided another shared interest for the women of Cortez. They started the Mother’s Club of Cortez and held their first meeting on Dec. 20, 1918. Their primary goal, as stated in the minutes from their first meeting, was the betterment of their school and their town, asserting that a better school and better town would make for better children.

They had a vision of a well-rounded and high-quality education for their children, and held fundraisers to purchase things like athletic equipment, bookcases and a piano. When the men of Cortez were too busy to do the work, they hired out the job of weeding and fencing the school yard.

While these women were very involved in their immediate community, their interests and actions crept into regional and statewide politics as well. They voiced their opinions on a statewide compulsory school law, and created a committee that convinced Bradenton landowners to donate the empty lot adjacent to the school for use as a park and school ground.

They changed their name from the Mother’s Club of Cortez to the Woman’s Club of Cortez in September 1920

The community improvement efforts of these women were recognized in the pages of the Manatee River Journal and, as their work continued, their mission expanded. Indicative of their growing role, they changed their name from the Mother’s Club of Cortez to the Woman’s Club of Cortez in September 1920. Since membership was no longer restricted to mothers, women and girls (aged 13 and older) were invited to contribute in any way they could.

Of the 79 women in Cortez at the time, almost half belonged to the Woman’s Club. Their fundraisers not only provided revenue for their various projects, but they hosted social hours and plays that provided important social and cultural opportunities for the somewhat isolated women. In an effort to alleviate that isolation, they petitioned the “Road Trustees” to improve the western end of the Bradentown-Cortez road, allowing them easier access to the neighboring city.

The final meeting of the Cortez Woman’s Club was April 28, 1921. They had decided to take the summer off and regroup the following fall. Unfortunately, the devastating hurricane of 1921 wreaked havoc on Cortez that they could not easily recover from. The Woman’s Club was pushed to the back seat indefinitely. Although a similar group never again formed, it successfully nudged women from their homes into a more public sphere, where they have remained active ever since.

If you would like to learn more about the women of Cortez, both past and present, you can visit the Florida Maritime Museum. It is free and open to the public 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call 941-708-6120 or visit FloridaMaritimeMuseum.org.

While you’re there, consider visiting the new Cortez Cultural Center, opened by the Cortez Village Historical Society, focused on the families that founded the village.

Amara C. Nash, supervisor at the Florida Maritime Museum, loves museums, art, music, culture and history, and splits her time between her two favorite villages: Cortez Fishing Village and Village of the Arts. Email: amara.nash@manatee
clerk.com Phone: 941-708-6121

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/article82501182.html#storylink=cpy

Published in: on June 8, 2016 at 3:58 pm  Leave a Comment