The Stranahan House is the oldest surviving building in Broward County, Florida. Built in 1901, Frank Stranahan was the first settler along the New River. He made the trip to Fort Lauderdale in 1893 due to health reasons. Frank decided to use the site to run his Barge Ferry as part of the new road between Lantana and North Miami. Stranahan was also Forth Lauderdale’s first postmaster as well as a banker and businessman. This trading post for settlers and Seminole Indians soon became a community center and town hall for the area. Frank married Ivy Julia Cromartie, one of the area’s first schoolteacher.
The upper floors hosted community festivals and dances until 1906 when it became the Stranahans permanent residence. The house came with modern plumbing, electric wiring, wide porches, running water, interior stairways, and bay windows. Throughout the years, it was remodeled and expanded to represent the original 1913-1915 look. The original furnishings were either sold or given away over the years. Stranahan House has since been restored to its original interior and exterior.
Frank Stranahan committed suicide by drowning himself during the Great Depression. His bank failed, leaving him unable to repay the many friends he owed. At the hour of his death, his wife stopped all the clocks in the house as it was a custom in the 1900s. After his death, Ivy lived on the upper floors while renting the first floor to outsiders for use as a restaurant. In 1971, Ivy passed on as well. The restaurant closed eight years later when the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society took over ownership. Today, it operates as a museum owned and managed by Stranahan House Inc.
While Stranahan House does not have a bloody history, it still has had numerous paranormal occurrences. Days after the house became a museum, the clock in the parlor began to tick on its own. The ticking originally was stopped after Frank’s death. Burglar alarms have a tendency to go off where no intruders can be found. The mysterious smell of a woman’s perfume often makes its presence known. Some say Frank and Ivy have never left their Fort Lauderdale home. If you speak to them during a visit, they may make an appearance in one of your photos.