Historic Stranahan House in Fort Lauderdale – Decorated for the Holidays!

Decorated for the Holidays!During the Christmas on Las Olas event we had the opportunity to visit Stranahan House.  Built in 1901 of Dade County pine, the historic Stranahan House is Broward County’s oldest standing structure!  If you didn’t already know, it was home to Frank and Ivy Stranahan, two of the area’s earliest settlers.  Between 1901 and 1906 it served as a trading post, town hall, bank and post office.  Frank started out by running a ferry service across the New River when he met Ivy Julia Cromartie, who served as Fort Lauderdale’s first school teacher (and later became founder of “Friends of the Seminoles”).

Holiday Decorations in Fort LauderdaleSince 1973, the house has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  In 1979, the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society took possession and together with the Fort Lauderdale Area Board of Realtors (now known as the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Lauderdale), began a careful restoration of the historic home, which is an example of Florida vernacular architecture.  By clicking on the link below, you can take a virtual stroll through the Stranahan House with its period furnishings and see it beautifully decorated for the holidays (by Flowers and Found Objects, a Fort Lauderdale florist) with red bows, garlands, a lighted Christmas tree and poinsettias by the fireplace.

:: Click to View a Virtual Tour of Stranahan House. ::

Historic Fort Lauderdale HomeStranahan House is located a block south of Las Olas Boulevard (directly on the New River) at 335 SE 6th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.  Visit the official Stranahan House site for directions, hours, tours, admission rates, history and more, or phone them at 954-524-4736. Parking is available next door at the Riverside Parking Garage.

In recent years, Stranahan House has had some legal challenges due to the proposed Icon Las Olas (a 42-story luxury high-rise condo building that would be built on the old Hyde Park Market site at 500 E. Las Olas Boulevard, next to Stranahan House).  If built, Icon would become the tallest building in Fort Lauderdale.

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Broward County Events – Fair, Expo and Christmas Festivities

 ::  To view Broward County Events for DECEMBER 2007, click here.  ::

The following are upcoming Broward County events scheduled for this November.  There’s a terrific variety of events to pick from this month… you’re bound to find one you’ll want to go to!

  • Broward County FairBroward County Fair at the Fort Lauderdale Stadium (November 15-25, 2007) – over 100 rides, games and attractions!
  • Dine Out Lauderdale (October 1st-November 15, 2007) – 35 of Greater Fort Lauderdale’s top restaurants are offering 3-course menus for $35.
  • SunTrust Sunday Jazz Brunch – Riverwalk in downtown Fort Lauderdale (the first Sunday of every month from 11 a.m. -2 p.m.).  Jazz music performed on four stages along the historic New River.  Bring a picnic basket, blanket, chairs, children and even your dog! For more information call the 24-hour hotline: 954-828-5363.
  • The Radio City Christmas Spectacular is a 90-minute production starring The Rockettes (November 8-December 2, 2007) – at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts
  • Fort Lauderdale Fall Home Design and Remodeling Show at the Broward County Convention Center (November 9-12, 2007) –  features a variety of vendors offering remodeling/home improvement services, interior & exterior home services, furnishings and accessories.
  • Christmas on Las OlasFestival of Trees (November 16th) at the Galleria Mall in Fort Lauderdale – trees, wreaths and gingerbread houses designed, decorated and donated by supporters of the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale and available for purchase.
  • South Florida Travel Expo at the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Center (November 17-18,2007) – various travel seminars, food & wine tastings, family entertainment, scuba diving lessons, and travel publications (including book signings).
  • The 42nd Annual Christmas on Las Olas (November 27, 2007) – Christmas festivities on Las Olas Boulevard, Fort Lauderdale including ‘Snow Mountain’, photos with Santa, carolers, performers and lighting displays to feed the holiday spirit.  Then “Holiday Happenings” highlights this popular boulevard every Tuesday in December.

The Tequesta Trail at Forest Ridge in Davie, Florida

trail signPart of the Tequesta Trail can be found in the residential neighborhood of Forest Ridge in Davie, FL.  At one point along the winding road that is shaded by a canopy of live oak trees just past Forest Ridge’s grand main entrance, there is a sign marker that is sponsored by the Archeological and Historical Conservancy which reads:

“The Tequesta Indians and their ancestors inhabited Pine Island from circa 3000 BC through 1500 AD.  The Tequesta inhabited southeast Florida from Boca Raton southward to Key West.  Historians estimate that as many as 20,000 Indians may have lived in South Florida before they became extinct from diseases contracted from Europeans.

On August 31, 1989, archeologists unearthed during road construction the remains of a Tequesta Village at this site.  Near this sign are the remains of an ancient Tequesta settlement that is at least 2,000 years old.”

Resources worth checking out:

Broward County Events – Art and Film Festivals and a Boat Show!

The following are some Broward County events scheduled for October 2007.  The festivities are plentiful this month and there’s something for everyone, so get out there and enjoy!

:: To view current Broward County Events, click here. ::

  • Sunday Jazz BrunchSunTrust Sunday Jazz Brunch – Riverwalk in downtown Fort Lauderdale (the first Sunday of every month from 11 a.m. -2 p.m.).  Jazz music performed on four stages along the historic New River.  Bring a picnic basket, blanket, chairs, children and even your dog! For more information call the 24-hour hotline: 954-828-5363.
  • Broward Caribbean Carnival, a Celebration of Cultural Diversity (October 7, 2007) – a parade of bands and carnival show.  The parade begins at noon at the top of NW 12th Avenue and ends inside the fair grounds of Fort Lauderdale Stadium Complex.
  • Southeast Winter Sports Show – Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center (October 5-7, 2007) – for those who enjoy cold-weather sports!  For details call 954-765-5900.
  • Las Olas Art Festival (October 6-7, 2007 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.) – leisurely stroll along Las Olas Blvd. and see paintings, photographs, ceramics, sculptures, jewelry and much more! This is one of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County’s most popular outdoor events offering something for every taste and budget.  For info: 954-472-3755.
  • FLIFFFort Lauderdale International Film Festival (October 15-November 11, 2007) – a 37-day event that will feature over 200 films from around the globe.  Meet the filmmakers and celebrities who will attend many of the screenings and events during the 22nd annual FLIFF.
  • Broward County Plant Affair (October 20-21, 2007) at Plantation Heritage Park (501 N. Fig Tree Lane, Plantation).  A plant show and sale, free after $1.50 park admission.  For information call 954-797-2722.
  • Viva Broward! (October 20-21, 2007 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at Stranahan Park, downtown Fort Lauderdale) – the 18th annual celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, hosted by Bank of America.
  • Hollywood International Art and Music Festival (October 20-21, 2007; Sat. 10-6, Sun. 11-5 in ArtsPark at Youngs Circle in Hollywood).  For details call 954-921-3404.
  • yachtFort Lauderdale International Boat Show (October 25-29, 2007) – this show is celebrating its 48th year and features over a billion dollar’s worth of boats, yachts and accessories. The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is among Broward County’s most attended events and is spread over six locations including the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, the Hyatt Pier 66 Hotel & Marina, the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center, the Fort Lauderdale Grande Hotel and Yacht Club, Hall of Fame Marina and Las Olas Marina.
  • Art in the Park – Liberty Tree Park in Plantation (October 27-28, 2007) – featuring 150 artists, live entertainment, Kids Korner (with activities, crafts, bounce house and more).  Location: 7421 NW 5th St., Plantation.
  • Southern States Bull Riders Finals – Bergeron Rodeo Grounds in Davie (November 3, 2007).

Click here for a list of current Broward County Events!

Broward County Events – Enjoy Live Music and a Clambake!

There’s always some event going on around Broward County.  Now that the weather is starting to cool slightly, why not get out and enjoy some live entertainment along one of our lovely beaches?  If you’ve never been to a clambake, here’s your chance to experience one South Florida style! 

Come enjoy a clambake - South Florida style!The following are upcoming events in Broward County for the month of September 2007.

  • Broadwalk Friday Fest – Hollywood Beach Theatre at Johnson Street (the 2nd and 4th Friday of every month from 7-10 p.m.). Enjoy live music along Hollywood’s 2.5 mile Broadwalk which offers oceanfront eateries so bring your appetite! (click on the link to see a .pdf flyer that includes a listing of restaurants within a short distance of the event).
  • Jazz On The Square – Lauderdale by the Sea (every Friday night at 7 p.m. ). An outdoor music festival at Commercial Boulevard and the Beach.
  • 6th Annual Hollywood Beach Clambake – Hollywood (Sept. 28-30, 2007 – Friday 5-11 p.m., Saturday 12 noon-11 p.m., Sunday 12 noon-9 p.m.). Enjoy fresh seafood, live music and entertainment on Hollywood’s Broadwalk.  Update: here’s a slideshow from this year’s Hollywood Beach Clambake!

Click here for an up-to-date list of Broward County events!

IKEA opening in Sunrise, Florida this Fall

UPDATE:  The Sunrise, Florida IKEA’s Grand Opening 
is scheduled for Wednesday, October 17th at 9:00 a.m.! IKEA Sunrise Florida - opening Fall 2007

The Swedish furniture giant IKEA will have a grand opening for its first store ever in Florida this Fall.  The newest IKEA will be located at the northwest corner of I-595 / S.R. 84 and 136th Avenue in Sunrise, Florida (western Broward County) as part of the 25-acre “Gateway at Sawgrass” retail center.  This store even includes a double-decker garage which will no doubt be filled to capacity during its first few weeks, followed by the holiday rush. 

For IKEA’s loyal fans, this grand opening will mean no more need for catalogs or online shopping for their favorite furniture and accessory items.  Florida has more customers than any other state without an IKEA store. Its 293,000 square feet of space will be much like other IKEA’s in that it will offer dozens of room settings, children’s play areas, and a restaurant that serves American food as well as Swedish specialty dishes.

Some may recall IKEA’s new location was originally the site of Blockbuster Golf and Games until the late 1990’s when it became defunct. IKEA scouted for a South Florida location for two years, creating some controversy along the way before securing this easily accessible location. The store is expected to become a destination spot much like the nearby Sawgrass Mills Mall has been since its opening.  Surrounding the new IKEA store will be several high-end boutiques as well as new eateries.

The Sunrise, Florida, IKEA is expected to create approximately 400 jobs in an area that already has a low unemployment rate.  Prospective employees are welcome to apply for various store positions.   If you know anyone in Central Florida, a second Florida store – the Orlando IKEA – is scheduled to open on November 14, 2007.

Certainly, there is much competition among South Florida furniture stores but with the population of South Florida continuing to increase, I suspect one more furniture store won’t impact other area stores very much.  No doubt, some of the 396 owners of the new Tao condos (which are nearing completion) or the hundreds of buyers of Artesia condos will be visiting some of the nearly dozen nearby furniture stores.

Davie Canoe Landing – a bit of Davie, FL History

Davie, Florida is a town that is full of history and proud of it, as evidenced in part by historical markers and the town’s desire to maintain a “western” theme throughout its downtown area along Davie Road between SW 39th St. and Griffin Road.  It is because of the Town of Davie’s residents strong desire to maintain their heritage that the Davie Area Land Trust exists.  You’ll find the Davie Canoe Landing (pictured below) on Orange Drive (which is parallel to Griffin Road), about a block or two west of Davie Road, and just steps from the Davie Town Hall.

Davie, Florida History

The plaque on the Davie Canoe Landing reads as follows:

“This historic canal site was Davie’s first canoe and barge landing.  Nicknamed the Venice of America, Broward County canals were the lifeblood of the community, controlling flooding, nourishing the land and providing settlers with vital transportation links.  Early residents of Davie used these canals to transport goods and produce to the railroads in the east.  We dedicate this site to Davie’s early pioneers who labored in the past to create this peaceful place.”

Davie FL History

(The backside as seen from across the South New River Canal.)