Stranahan House

Stranahan House is the home of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, pioneers Frank and Ivy Stranahan. Built in 1901 as a trading post and converted into a residence for the Stranahans in 1906, the house is the oldest surviving structure in Broward County. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and today operates as a historic house museum. The House is open for guided tours at 1, 2, and 3 p.m. some days and hosts special events throughout the year.

The Stranahans

In 1893, at the age of 27, Frank Stranahan was hired by his cousin to manage his camp and ferry at Tarpon Bend, located on the New River. He would quickly establish his trading business with the Seminole Indians and gain the reputation of being a fair businessman. Arriving via dugout canoes, large Seminole families would camp at the post for days. Eventually, in 1894 Frank acquired ten acres of land for his commercial interests and moved the trading post farther west along the river. This property became the focal point of the tiny New River settlement, of which Stranahan was now its postmaster.

Frank built the present-day Stranahan House in 1901; the lower floor served as a trading post, and the upper floor was a community hall. By 1906 Frank’s business had expanded to include a general store and bank; he would also build a new building closer to the Railroad, which had arrived in 1896. In addition, the old trading post was renovated due to a residence for the Stranahans.

Renamed Fort Lauderdale after the army forts that had been built during the Seminole Wars, the area was incorporated in 1911. Frank donated land for many public projects. With this new name, Frank would end up selling the trading company in 1912 to focus on real estate and banking, while Ivy would become president of the Florida Equal Suffrage Association in 1916. In 1924 due to her close relationship with the Seminoles, the federal government sought out Ivy and asked for assistance in persuading the tribe to move to the reservation. She would be successful in her efforts. Pristine Water Damage Restoration

The House

Following Frank’s suicide in 1929, Ivy continued to live in the house but rented out rooms to visitors and later leased the lower floor to a series of restaurants, the last known as the Pioneer House Restaurant. In 1971 Ivy died, but she left the home to the Seventh Day Adventist Church, which registered the home with the National Register of Historic Homes in 1973.

With the last restaurant closed, the Historical Society of Fort Lauderdale bought the house from the Seventh Day Adventists in 1979. For the next four years, a construction project began to restore the house to its 1915 appearance. In 1981 the House became its corporation, with a separate board of trustees. The house opened to the public in the spring of 1984. The house offers daily tours via its website.

Address: 335 SE 6th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL

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