The Stranahan House
Inside The Stranahan House
A couple of weeks ago, I explored the Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale. Which is a mile long trail located in Downtown, Fort Lauderdale. While I was on the Riverwalk, I visited the Stranahan House. The Stranahan House is Fort Lauderdale’s oldest surviving home.
Frank Stranahan built the Stranahan House in 1901. He is considered Fort Lauderdale’s founding father. Because the city of Fort Lauderdale first started with the Stranahan House and then the city flourished around it. The Stranahan House has been converted into a historic house museum. Keep reading to learn more about the history of the Stranahan House, a recap of my experience touring the Stranahan House Museum and what all the Stranahan House Museum offers.
The Post Office
The Stranahan House History
- In 1893 Frank Stranahan managed his cousins camp and ferry that was along the New River. While managing the camp and ferry. Frank establish a trading business with the local Seminole Indians who would stay with him for days at a time.
- In 1894, Frank purchased 10 acres of land and moved the trading business further west along the New River.
- In 1899 the community had grown large enough to hire a teacher. The community build a one room school house and hired Ivy Juia Cromartie as the teacher.
- Frank and Ivy came to know one another while she taught in the school house and were married in 1900. Ivy stopped teaching at the school house and began to teach the Seminole children at the trading post that Frank managed.
- In 1901, Frank built the Stranahan House. The first floor served as a trading post and the second floor as a community hall.
- Over the years, the trading business expanded to include a general store and a bank. The stranahan house went thru many renovations to accommodate the growing business. The renovations included an interior staircase, electric wiring, and plumbing were installed.
- In 1911, the area was named Fort Lauderdale after the army forts of the second Seminole war.
- In 1926, Florida’s land boom collapsed and after two devastating hurricanes. Frank was financially ruined.
- In 1929, Frank was depressed and in ill health. He committed suicide by drowning in the New River.
- Franks wife Ivy carried on renting rooms and leasing floors of the stranahan house.
- Ivy remained in her home until her death on August 30, 1971, at the age of 90.
- In 1975, the Stranahan House was purchased by the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society.
- In 1984, the house was opened to the public as a historic house museum.
The Stranahan House Museum Tour
John Della-Cerra is the caretaker of the Stranahan House. John has been working as the caretaker of the Stranahan House for many years. He knew Ivy Juia Cromartie Stranahan when she was alive. John was so kind as to take a couple of minutes while I wanted for the tour to start to share some interesting facts and stories about the house with me.
Jonathan Axler is the Programs and Education Coordinator. He lead the tour of the museum that I attended. Jonathan was very knowledgeable on the Stranahan House, the history if the Stranahan’s, and the history of Fort Lauderdale. As we toured each room of the house he would explain how the room was used, explain interesting artifacts that were in the room, and pointed out the renovations that were made over the years. A lot of the artifacts in the Stranahan House are donated vintage and antique items similar to what they would have had back then. However, some items are original artifacts from the Stranahan’s.
Mr. Stranahan’s Office
The Dining Room
The Master Bedroom
The Stranahan House Museum Store
The guided tour ends on the second floor in the museum store. The museum store had a variety of items that you could purchase. If you’ve read my blog post on The Best Travel Souvenirs. Then you know that I don’t subscribe to the usual souvenirs that most people get.
The Ferry Bell
After the tour ended. I got to talking to both John and Johnathan as I was leaving. They mentioned that Frank Stranahan use to ferry people across the New River so that they could purchase items from his trading posting. A bell that is on the property alerted him to customers ready to cross. They asked me if I wanted to ring the bell and I took them up on their offer. I rang the bell once and it was very exciting.
Jonathan (left) and John (Right)
Location, Hours, & Ticket
The Stranahan House is located at 335 SE 6th Avenue Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.
Admission is by guided tour only. Guided tours are anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes long. Tours are held three times a day at 1PM, 2PM and 3PM
Admission is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors, and $7 for students. You can purchase tickets online or at the door.
Since you will be on our feet for most of the tour. I recommend you wear comfortable shoes. If you do get tired along the tour. You can let your tour guide know and they have collapsible chairs nearby that they can pull out for you to use.
Educational Programs, Venue Rentals, and Events
The Stranahan House is so much more than just a museum. It offers educational programs for Broward County Schools. From kindergarten up to 12th grade. Some of the topics that they explore include social studies, environmental conservation, and Native American culture. The house is also available for venue rentals. It can accommodate up to 200 guests for special events and corporate functions. In addition, it hosts events throughout the year that will take you back in time to the Victorian era. Where you can learn more about the pioneers.
If you are a history buff who is fascinated by all things historical. I highly recommend you visit the Stranahan House. You will love the museum tour and take pleasure in learning about the history of Fort Lauderdale as well. I hope that you enjoyed reading this blog post. If you have any questions feel free to comment down below.