Our History


Bird Key Yacht Club can trace its history to one of the most dazzling developments in Sarasota Bay.

Our clubhouse is located on the site of the New Edzell Castle, the first mansion in Sarasota built by the Worcester family in 1914 and named after their ancestral home in Scotland. The mansion, with electric lights, steam heat, and hot and cold water, was positioned to face the mainland as the club is today. John Ringling purchased the mansion and the entire island of Bird Key in 1922. Ringling’s intention was to use the mansion and property as the winter White House for his friend, President Warren G. Harding. That dream never reached reality. Instead, his sister, Ida Ringling North, and her family lived in the house until 1950.

The Arvida Corporation bought Bird Key in the 1950's and began to develop Bird Key as a residential playground. In 1959, Bird Key Yacht Club was created on the site of the original New Edzell Castle as a sparking jewel on Sarasota Bay for the "benefit, amusement, recreation, and entertainment of its members and their friends." Although the club is named for its location, it has never been for the exclusive use of Bird Key residents, welcoming members from across the area and the world.

Today, Bird Key Yacht Club is an oasis on sparkling Sarasota Bay, offering members a full schedule of activities or an afternoon and evening relaxing in this idyllic place that seduced its first residents over a century ago.