Stranahan House is the home of Fort Lauderdale 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 1974 and today operates as a historic house museum. The House is open for guided tours at 1, 2, and 3 p.m. daily, and hosts special events throughout the year.
Frank built the present day Stranahan House in 1901; the lower floor served as a trading post and the upper floor as 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. The old trading post was renovated as a result into a residence for the Stranahans.
As Frank’s businesses grew, so did the settlement. By 1910 the Census reports that there was 142 people living in the town. Frank and Ivy would take on many leadership roles in the social and civic life of their developing city, Ivy for instance would help found the Women’s Civic improvement Association, later the Woman’s club of Fort Lauderdale. Throughout the rest of her life Ivy would be involved with virtually every civic and social cause in the city.
Following Frank’s death 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 of which is known as the Pioneer House Restaurant. In 1971 Ivy died, but she left the home to the Seventh Day Adventist Church who 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 and for the next four years a construction project began to restore the house to its 1915 appearance. In 1981 the House became its own corporation, with a separate board of trustees. The house opened to the public in the spring of 1984.
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