Lake Sarasota's Fantasy Beginnings
Lake Sarasota began as Sunshine Springs and Gardens, a kind of fairie world complete with water-skiing aqua-belles and aqua-beaux, and, yes, an aqua-elephant. There were swan boats, exotic plants, arching bridges, water-curtains and picnics. Here's a slide-show from that time, with thanks to Laura Blackman (better known to many as Laura Mathis), the former president of the Lake Sarasota Community Group:
More about the attraction from the 50's and "Florida's largest man-made lake" here.