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Stranahan House

Fort Lauderdale, Florida is renowned for its gorgeous beaches, lively entertainment, and vibrant culture. But concealed among the modern skyscrapers and opulent hotels is the Stranahan House, which has stood for more than a century.

The Stranahan House is a historical landmark that recounts the early history of Fort Lauderdale. The mansion was constructed in 1901 for Frank and Ivy Stranahan, who were instrumental in the city’s development. Today, the house serves as a museum that provides visitors with a view into the past and the opportunity to learn about the individuals who helped shape Fort Lauderdale into the city it is today.

The past of the House

Frank Stranahan was a businessman who moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1893 because of the city’s promising real estate market. Becoming the first postmaster and opening the first trading post, he soon made a name for himself in the community. In 1901, he wed Ivy Julia Cromartie, and together they constructed a house on the banks of the New River.

The house was a two-story Dade County pine structure, a variety of wood that was abundant in the area. It had a wraparound veranda, a tin roof, and a breezeway connecting the kitchen to the main house. During their more than two decades of residence in the home, the Stranahans were instrumental in the growth of Fort Lauderdale.

Frank Stranahan constructed a ferry that permitted automobiles and pedestrians to cross the New River in 1913, facilitating travel into the city. In addition to establishing the first school in Fort Lauderdale, he and Ivy were known for their philanthropy, donating money and land to numerous causes.

In the 1920s, the house served as a community gathering center. Ivy Stranahan hosted bridge parties and other social gatherings, and the Stranahans were well-known for their generosity. During the 1926 hurricane, the house served as a temporary hospital, providing shelter and medical treatment to those in need.

The Stranahans sold the property to the city of Fort Lauderdale in 1929, and it has since served as a library and a community center, among other uses. In 1981, the property was added to the National Register of Historic Places and its original condition was restored. Today, it is managed by the Historic Stranahan House Museum, a non-profit organization committed to preserving Fort Lauderdale’s history.

The Present House

Visitors can take a guided tour of the Stranahan House property, which contains the main house, kitchen, and carriage house. The home is furnished with antiques and artifacts that illustrate the history of the Stranahan family and early Fort Lauderdale.

The gorgeously restored original Dade County pine floors are one of the highlights of the tour. As visitors walk through the house, the floors creak and groan, adding to the ambiance and giving visitors a sense of what it was like to reside in the home over a century ago.

Separate from the main house and connected by a breezeway is the house’s kitchen, which is an additional intriguing feature. The kitchen features a wood-burning furnace, an icebox, and other early 1900s-era appliances and utensils. The carriage house, where the Stranahans kept their carriages and horses, is also accessible to visitors.

In addition to tours for school groups, historical reenactments, and art exhibits, the museum offers various educational programs and activities throughout the year. The museum is maintained by knowledgeable volunteers who are devoted to preserving the Stranahan House and Fort Lauderdale’s history.

In addition to its historical significance, it is said that the Stranahan House is haunted. Visitors and employees have reported seeing apparitions and hearing unexplainable sounds throughout the residence. Some believe that the entities are the spirits of Frank and Ivy Stranahan, while others believe they are the spirits of former residents or visitors. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, the spooky tales surrounding the Stranahan House add to its allure and fascination.

A few streets from the riverfront, the Stranahan House is situated in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale. The house is readily accessible on foot from nearby hotels, shops, and restaurants. The museum is open seven days a week and has reasonable admission pricing, making it an affordable and educational activity for families, history enthusiasts, and anyone interested in learning about Fort Lauderdale’s past.

In conclusion, the Stranahan House is a must-see attraction for Fort Lauderdale visitors. The house is a beautiful and historic landmark that recounts the tale of the city’s early days and the people who helped mold it into the thriving, vibrant community it is today. The Stranahan House, with its well-preserved architecture, period furnishings, and knowledgeable personnel, provides a fascinating glimpse into the past. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, you won’t want to miss the Stranahan House.

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