A Place We Call Home: Whitfield Estates

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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - The Whitfield Balentine manor neighborhood lies just over the Sarasota County line in Manatee County. Yet has a Sarasota address.

The first homesteader here was an aide to General Grant in the Civil War.

"His name was John Regan Senior and he came down here in 1875 and homesteaded."

Another famous residents who lived in the area was one of the Ringling brothers.

"Alfred Ringling built his home in what is now Whitefield estates back in 1920 and his home is still there. It was relocated when the sub division was built in 1925 and is the oldest surviving Ringling house in the region. It predates Charles and Johns by about six years."

When it was originally platted in the 1920s, it was regarded as one of the best developments in the entire country. Big name golfers played on the golf course at what was then the Whitefield Estates Country Club.

"They had major tournaments with Bobby Jones, Tommy Armor was the first professional there."

As the community grew, each decade had its own style.

"In the 20s, we have the Mediterranean, after the war everything was simplified and the mid century became popular that was the beginning of the ranch home, so blended in with these 20s Spanish homes are a lot of ranch long ranch style homes."

Today homes are priced from just over $100,000 to $4 million.

"This neighborhood is an electric mix of both architecture and residents. We have every type of home and we have a very good mix of retirees and professional people."

Together, they've weathered many a storm.

"We've made it through depressions, the market crashes, and with each new beginning the neighborhood gets better and better."

It is a great place to call home.

"We have sidewalks on both sides of the street. Its a fun walk-able neighborhood where people get to know everybody. We don't have fences in the front yards which helps people interact."

"Its just a marvelous place to live. You've got the bay boating ability and the canal up there. We just have the best of both worlds."