* Historical over-view
Built as a trading post for settlers and the Seminole Indians in 1901, it quickly evolved into the post office, community center and town hall as Frank became Fort Lauderdale's first postmaster, a banker and businessman. He married another pioneer, Ivy Julia Cromartie, the area's first school teacher, and it was not long before dances and community festivals were held on the upper floor of the house. In 1906, it became the Stranahan's personal residence and remained so until Ivy Stranahan's death in 1971.
Following Frank's suicide during the depression, Ivy leased the first floor of the house to outsiders for use as a restaurant, while she continued to live upstairs. In 1973, the house was named to the National Register of Historic Places. In 1979, the restaurant closed and the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society took possession. After a thorough restoration, Stranahan House, Inc. was incorporated in 1981 to preserve and manage the property.
The structure, built of Dade County pine, is an excellent example of Florida vernacular architecture in a tropical wilderness setting. Expanded and renovated numerous times, it presently represents its 1913-1915 configuration. At that time the Stranahan's home had electric wiring, indoor plumbing and running water, interior stairways, bay windows and wide porches. All woodwork, flooring and paneling have been refinished and the exterior repainted in the original white with green trim. A new roof, a prototype for other historical properties, was completed in 1996 and meets current hurricane specifications. Although many of the original furnishings were sold or given away over the years, the house is furnished with fine examples of period Victorian furniture and decorative pieces.
Report by: Charles Del Campo
Equipment: Cell Sensor Electro-Magnetic Field Detector, Craftsman Non-Contact infrared thermometer, Panasonic Palmcorder with motion sensor, and a Vivitar Vivicam 3715 Digital Camera.
Findings: No unexplained activity registered, house was surrounded by multiple in-experienced observers. Only professional FPRF personnel on-site was Marlene Pardo and myself. Other Ghost Hunter Groups were well represented and equipped. Many were slightly "Fanatical" and appeared to be embellishing stories a bit in order to attract attention.
Photos captured reflected shadows due to the strong lighting conditions which tends to bounce the lights back from the highly reflective wooden floors. This is apparently done on purpose in order to attract customers and add eye appeal. While the landmark is of great historical interest, no unexplained anomalies or occurrences were noted during this visit…
Charles Del Campo
Public - Science oriented Investigation: 29 August 2006
FPRF Members: Marlene Pardo & Charles Del Campo