All Broward County residents and visitors are encouraged to experience the County’s rich history by visiting its historical sites. These sites are located in a variety of Broward County municipalities and offer an intriguing look into early pioneer life, agriculture, marine archeology, tourism, and culture. You can begin your historical experience at the headquarters of the Broward County Historical Commission 301 S.W. 13th Avenue (Harmon Avenue), Fort Lauderdale, 954-357-5513.
Little Houses With Lots of History
Old Fort Lauderdale Village and Museum - 219 S.W. 2nd Ave. (Fort Lauderdale) 954-463-4431. The offices of the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society are located in the Philemon Bryan House (1904). The charming collection of historic buildings includes the King-Cromartie House (circa 1907), New River Inn (circa 1905) and Schoolhouse Replica. The New River Inn was one of the first structures to be built in South Florida using hollow concrete block. Today, it is home to the Old Fort Lauderdale Museum of History and a chronological exhibit depicting the history of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County. The County’s first schoolhouses were built in 1899 in Pompano Beach and Fort Lauderdale. The Fort Lauderdale school opened with nine pupils’ grades one through six. The first teacher was Ivy Julia Cromartie. The original schoolhouse was destroyed in the 1926 hurricane. The replica was dedicated in 1977.
Stranahan House (built in 1901) - 335 S.E. 6th Ave. (Fort Lauderdale) 954-524-4736. The Stranahan House, the oldest structure in Broward County, has been a trading post, post office, bank, private home and restaurant. It is now a museum furnished with antiques typical of an early 1900s home. It was around this tiny structure, the home of Frank and Ivy Stranahan, that Fort Lauderdale began to grow.
Historic Davie - 6650 Griffin Road (Davie) 954-797-1044. Visit the Old Davie School (1918), Viele House (1912), the Walsh/Osterhoudt House (1920s) and the reconstructed Pioneer House. The Old Davie School, of Spanish and Moorish design, was the first permanent school in the Everglades.
Tradewinds McLean Farmhouse (built on the beach in the 1920s and relocated to its current site in 1960) - 3600 W. Sample Road (Coconut Creek) 954-357-8870. The site was originally a 600-acre horse farm. Tour the old farmhouse featuring pecky-cypress beams and paneled walls. See 30 types of animals.
Bonnet House (1921) – 900 N. Birch Road (Fort Lauderdale) 954-563-5393. 35-acre beach estate built by Chicago painter and art collector Frederic Clay Bartlett and his wife Helen Louise, daughter of Hugh Taylor Birch. This historically significant residence and museum contains an extensive furniture and art collection and is surrounded by exotic tropical foliage and flowers. Next door is the 180-acre Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.
Hammerstein Historical House (1935) – 1520 Polk St. (Hollywood) 954-923-5590. Clarence and Vera Hammerstein promoted tourism. Clarence was a pioneer in the interaction of the citrus industry between Florida and California. As a result, agricultural experts developed the Citrus Manual that is the standard reference guide for horticultural and citrus students. The house is open to the public from 1 to 4 p.m. on the first Sunday of every month. Docents will lead visitors through the 1935 house, designed by noted Hollywood architect, Bayard Lukens. Admission is free. The Hammerstein house is the headquarters of the Hollywood Historical Society.
Butler House (1923) – 380 East Hillsboro Blvd. (Deerfield Beach) 954-429-0378. The Butler House is constructed of hollow tile, with plaster on lath interior walls, and Spanish tile roof. All of the furnishings are original except for the dining room table, which was used to board up a window during the 1928 hurricane. The home is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and the first and third Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Wray Family Estate (1933) – 3750-3950 Flamingo Road (Davie) 954-473-2955. In addition to a tour of this authentic South Florida estate home, you can also take a tram tour of adjacent Flamingo Gardens, with its aviary, arboretum and exotic gardens, birds and animals.
Landmarks of our Cultural Heritage
Ely Educationl Museum Ely Educational Museum at the Blanche & Joseph Ely House – 1500 N.W. 6th Ave. (Pompano Beach) 954-781-2256. The Ely Educational Museum was the three-bedroom home of Blanche Ely, a local educator and civic pioneer in Pompano Beach’s black community. It now displays historical artifacts and documents of interest. The museum is the city’s first African-American historical museum. Tours are offered Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Barefoot Mailman Statue – 1210 Hillsboro Mile-A1A (Hillsboro Beach). This statue, located in front of City Hall, memorializes the men who for seven years carried the mail between Lake Worth and Biscayne Bay in the late 19th Century, walking barefoot on the beaches and using small boats to cross the inlets.
Anglin’s Fishing Pier – 2 Commercial Blvd. and A1A (Lauderdale-by-the-Sea) 954-491-9403. The pier was initially built in 1941 by the city’s founding father and first mayor. It has been rebuilt three times since. Today, it extends 800 feet into the Atlantic Ocean and is near a coral reef approximately halfway out acknowledged as the closest reef to the shoreline in the continental United States.
11th Ave. Swing Bridge – 11th Avenue West (Fort Lauderdale). Formerly known as the Reed-Snow Bridge, this unique mechanically-operated bridge, which swings open instead of rising, was constructed in 1927.
Tree Tops Park – 3900 S.W. 100th Ave. (Davie) 954-370-3750. A key attraction at the park is Pine Island Ridge, at 29 feet above sea level the highest natural elevation in Broward County. Located here is a sculpture and exhibit dedicated to the Seminole leader Sam Jones “Abiaka,” a warrior/healer who led his tribe to refuge on Pine Island Ridge during the Second and Third Seminole Wars.
Walter E. Peele Dixie Water Plant (1926) – 1500 S. State Road 7 (Fort Lauderdale) 954-321-1207. This structure’s Mediterranean Revival features make it one of the most architecturally significant utility buildings in Florida.
Peace Mound Park – 1300 Three Village Road (Weston) 954-389-4321. This tranquil park is built around an ancient Indian burial mound, where archaeologists have found the remains of Tequesta Indians.
Deerfield Beach Memorial Cemetery (circa 1925) – 380 N.E. 6th Ave. (Deerfield Beach) 954-571-2658. Many early pioneers of Deerfield Beach are buried here.
Hallandale Beach City Hall Cannons – 400 S. Federal Highway (Hallandale Beach). The six cannons are relics of a Spanish-British dispute known as the Battle of Jenkins Ear. They were retrieved from a shipwreck at the bottom of the sea.
Seminole Okalee Indian Village and Museum – One Seminole Way at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino (Hollywood) 954-797-5551. The village and museum shows and teaches non-natives the history, life and works of the Seminole Indians. Features Seminole-genre works from both Seminoles and non-Indian artists.
Old Dillard School and Museum (1924) – 1009 N.W. 4th St. (Fort Lauderdale) 954-322-8828. This fine example of Mission-style architecture was the first high school for African-American children in Broward County. Today it is home to exhibitions, art displays and historical and cultural artifacts celebrating Broward County’s African-American heritage.
Plantation Historical Museum – 511 N. Fig Tree Lane (Plantation) 954-797-2722. View exhibits, historical photos and artifacts, including a Tequesta and Seminole Native American display and Firehouse Memorabilia Museum. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Museum of Coral Springs History – 10250 N.W. 29 St. in Mullins Park (Coral Springs) 954-752-7535.