In January 1893, Frank Stranahan arrived at the New River Settlement from Melbourne in Florida. He was originally from Ohio. The stagecoach route from Lantana in the north to Lemon City in the south had been established and at the New River, a ferry and overnight accommodation were required.
Frank is seen as the father of Fort Lauderdale. Although there had been other people living in the area, they weren’t permanent residents – Frank was the first person who settled in Fort Lauderdale and remained all his life.
He married the settlement’s first schoolteacher, Ivy Stranahan, in 1900 at her parents’ home in Lemon City (north Miami). At the beginning of their married life they lived in a small cottage at the back of Frank’s trading post, between the New River and Las Olas Boulevard. Frank later had the trading post remodeled and it became their home.
The Stranahan House still stands proudly on the New River and is now a museum. Tours are daily at 1, 2 and 3 pm.