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The seat of Sarasota County, Sarasota is located on the southwestern coast of Florida. Europeans first explored the area sometime prior to 1513, the date of the first recorded expedition, as the natives already spoke at least a few words of Spanish at that time. European settlers began arriving in large numbers by the late 1840s, and the area already had a Spanish name at that time - "Zara Zote", which was retained as "Sara Sota", although it was later turned into one word.

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