Sarasota County's island and beach communities, including Longboat Key, Siesta Key, Casey Key, Venice, and Manasota Key, provide beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife, and lush vegetation. Images of America: Sarasota County Islands and Beaches explores the history of the area and its pioneers, developers, and residents. The beaches offer natural beauty, where sugar-white sand, fishing, and boating abound. In the late 1800s, settlers and developers such as John Savarese, John Casey, and Frank Higel arrived, allowing later developers like Bertha Palmer, Harry Higel, and John Ringling to build housing, farms, and businesses. In the 1920s, the land boom brought thousands of people to the area. This ended with the Great Depression, which depopulated many of the islands until the beginning of World War II brought an army airbase and other regional activity started developing this coastal region.