Essay about Stranahan House

Submitted By natischilling
Words: 670
Pages: 3

English 1

Some may think the Stranahan House is just a rickety 1900’s house, but it’s really a little slice of history in Fort Lauderdale’s backyard that also houses many events for locals and visitors. It was built in 1901 by Frank Stranahan, who is known as Fort Lauderdale’s founding father. He was also accompanied by his wife Cromartie Stranahan, the first school teacher in the area. This house is the oldest surviving structure in Broward. It has been used as a trading post, post office, town hall, and home obviously to the Stranahans. It sits along side of the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale. Even though it’s surrounded by skyscraper tall office buildings, it still manages to shine its beauty right on through. Back in 1894 when Frank Stranahan came to Fort Lauderdale from Ohio he was 27.He started his own trading post along the river, which made great business trading with the Seminole Indians. While he was busy becoming a well known business man, his soon to be wife 18 years old at the time Ivy Julia Cromartie was hired as the areas first school teacher for $48 a month. In 1901 after Frank and Ivy were married, he built what is now the Stranahan House. The bottom floor served as the trading post while the upper floor was a community hall. Eventually the business grew to be a general store and bank, in just that tiny little house. In 1926 Florida went through an economic crisis along with natural disasters; which lead to Frank’s plummeting depression. In 1929 Frank committed suicide, drowning himself in the New River in front of the house. Ivy being the tough women she was just went along trying to make thing work. She rented out rooms whatever she had to do to keep her home. Eventually he had to lease the lower floor as a restaurant. With pieces of her house being rented away, she turned to civic activism. She became a member of the city’s zoning committee, established Friends of the Seminoles and founded Broward County chapters of Red Cross and Campfire Girls. She remained in the house until 1971, due to her death at the age of 90. The Stranahan House was purchased by Fort Lauderdale’s Historical Society and restored to its original conditions. The house now serves as a public historical site. It has over 10,000 visitors each year, including schools from all over the county. The Stranahan House has all kinds of events to get the community involved. One Saturday of