John Ringling was the Circus King in the early part of the 20th century. He owned the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus. The circus and his other investments made him a very wealthy man. He purchased a large amount of land in Sarasota Florida in 1911 and started spending his winters there.

He started building a waterfront mansion in 1924; it took 2 years to complete and cost $1.5 million. I wonder what that converts to in today’s dollars. He named the mansion: Ca’ d’Zan, house of John. I guess if you spend that much money on a house, you have to give it a name.

Ringling collected old masters art and built a museum to house it on the grounds of his mansion. It is quite an impressive building and worth a visit. In addition to the mansion and art museum there is also a circus museum to visit.

The admission charge for the museum currently is $25.00 per person, with additional fees for the mansion and circus museum. You can spend all day walking around the beautiful grounds and even have lunch at one of the three museum restaurants.

For more information and current ticket prices visit the museum’s website.


Nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

FOG sez:

Hmmm, if Ringling named his house Ca’ d’Zan can I call my place Home d’FOG?