Monday, February 7, 2011

Florida History: Fort Lauderdale's Stranahan House, a step into frontier days

335 SE 6th Ave
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301

For more Florida history, see my history blog at:
Jane's History Nook -

By Jane Feehan 

Fort Lauderdale pioneer Frank Stranahan first operated a small ferry (1893) that crossed the New River near the site of the 1836 Cooley Massacre. He must have seen potential in this rough Florida frontier, because he bought 10 acres a mile away and operated the Stranahan New River Camp and Trading Post. His sign claimed its location as Fort Lauderdale. The settlement became the hub of commercial and social activity in the 1890s and later also served as home to his new wife, Ivy (Cromartie).  
Around the bend from Stranahan

The Stranahan House, sometimes referred to as the Pioneer House, still stands today - nearly swallowed up by the modern downtown Fort Lauderdale skyline.  It's open for tours but the best view of the house is by boat along the New River. That the house sits on prime real estate is underscored by the proximity of nearby million dollar plus condos and mansions, including that of business mogul, Wayne Huizenga.

Wayne Huizenga's house
At left is an 1898 clipping from the Tropical Sun about  Stranahan; his Fort Lauderdale activities earned an occasional mention in the publication. 

Fort Lauderdale celebrated its first 100 years in 2011.

See also: Two cousins, a stage line and the founding of Fort Lauderdale:

 Gillis, Susan. Fort Lauderdale: The Venice of America. Charleston: Arcadia (2004).
 Weidling, Philip J. , Burghard, August. Checkered Sunshine. Gainesville: University of Florida Press (1966).

Fort Lauderdale history published in 1966 - Checkered Sunshine

Tags: Fort Lauderdale, Fort Lauderdale history, Frank Stranahan, Fort Lauderdale Centennial, New River

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