About The Historic Stranahan House Museum in Fort Lauderdale, FL
While visiting Fort Lauderdale, don’t miss the Historic Stranahan House Museum. This 1902 building was the home of Fort Lauderdale pioneers Frank and Ivy Stranahan. It was originally built as a trading post but was later converted into a residence for the Stranahans. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. Today, it serves as a historic house museum, offering guided tours.
The museum offers several tours, including Educated tours that will provide a deeper understanding of the Stranahan family and the city. Tour docents share the stories of the Stranahan home, the Stranahan family, and Fort Lauderdale in general. If you are a school group, consider taking a specialty tour such as Where it All Began or Old Southern Florida Portrait Tour. The museum also offers monthly programs, such as a Pioneer Show and Tell.
The Stranahan House Museum is hosting the first annual “Home for the Holidays” party on Wednesday, December 8. The party will include a cocktail and grazing station, as well as a silent auction and raffle. There will also be a raffle of gift baskets and holiday gifts. The Stranahan House Museum asks that all guests adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols. Guests are reminded to wear a mask, gloves, and other protective equipment to ensure their safety.
Frank Stranahan built the Stranahan House in 1901 as a trading post and community hall. He gained a reputation as a fair and honest businessman by conducting trade with the Seminoles. He even gained a reputation as a fair trader among the Seminoles and would sometimes camp out in the Stranahan trading post for days at a time. The Stranahans expanded their business after moving their trading post westward along the New River. Eventually, they decided to make their house their home.
Frank and Ivy Stranahan’s son, John, died in 1929, and Ivy continued to live in the house. Ivy rented rooms to tourists and leased the lower level to restaurants. She also became an active civic activist. She was a member of the city planning commission and lobbied for the Homestead Exemption law. She later grew depressed and committed suicide, drowning herself in the river that surrounded her home. After her husband’s death, she continued to live in the house and rented out rooms and the upper level of the home to the Seventh Day Adventist Church. The church registered the home with the National Register of Historic Homes in 1973.
When visiting the Historic Stranahan House Museum, be sure to bring plenty of cash, since parking downtown can be an issue. Parking is limited, so we recommend parking in a public lot nearby. Parking is difficult, but the Stranahan House Museum offers a small on-site lot. In addition to the museum’s own parking lot, visitors are encouraged to park in any nearby public lot. You’ll be glad you did.
Another historic building in Fort Lauderdale, the Bonnet House Museum, and Gardens, was built by Frederic and Evelyn Bartlett as a vacation home. Until not too long ago, this was one of the few buildings in the area. The home’s original art and architecture are on display throughout, and the courtyard is surrounded by natural South Florida jungle. The museum also offers educational programs aimed at children and adults.
The Fort Lauderdale Historical Society and the Fort Lauderdale Board of Realtors restored the home and opened it as a house museum in 1984. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable, as was our tour guide. The museum anchors downtown Ft. Lauderdale and preserves Florida’s history along the river. Our family enjoyed our visit to the museum. So, when you visit the museum, be sure to include a stop at the Fort Lauderdale Historical Museum.
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