Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
by Mary Dickinson
December 21, 2003
Frank Stranahan came to Florida from Ohio in 1893 because he had lung damage. He bought ten acres along the New River in an area known as Fort Lauderdale for $1 an acre and started a trading post. At that time there were only four white men living in Fort Lauderdale (named after a fort that was located next to the New River during the Seminole Wars).
In 1896 the railroad came through and brought a lot of settlers into the area. They needed a teacher for their children. A young woman named Ivy Cromartie was hired for the job. She married Frank. He built their lovely home along the river in 1906. The interior walls are still paneled with the original Miami-Dade Pine but the floors have been replaced, according to Docent Claire McMahon, who gave our tour.
Frank acted as postmaster, banker, realtor and merchant as the young town began to grow and flourish. Claire showed us a safe in the wall that was Fort Lauderdale’s first bank. A kitchen was added and in 1915 a bathroom was installed in the house and is still there.
Things went well for Frank and Ivy and they became very wealthy. Then in 1928 a terrible hurricane hit the area and in 1929 the stock market crashed and it was the beginning of the Great Depression. Frank went broke, and in despair, committed suicide. Ivy took in borders to make ends meet. At one time a restaurant was opened in an addition along the river. In 1969, Claire and her husband went there for dinner and someone pointed out the aged Ivy to her.
When Ivy died she left the house to the 7th Day Advent Church. They sold it to the Historical Society. The house is believed to be haunted. Admission to the house is $6 for Adults, Sen. $5 and $3 for children. It is opened W-Sat in winter with tours on the hour from 10-3.
From journal Birds in Flight
December 8, 2000
From journal Fort Lauderdale - America's answer to Venice Italy