Fundraising Effort to Preserve King-Cromartie House
Edwin T. King built the King-Cromartie House in 1907. Now, the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society needs your help to fund a new roof and keep one of Broward’s oldest houses preserved in all its early 20th Century glory.
The State of Florida, Department of State and Division of Historical Resources have already pledged $50,000 in the form of a Historic Preservation Grant Award Agreement but individuals, businesses and organizations are needed to pitch in and help fund the matching grant program. The deadline to donate is June 1 and construction on the roof starts in February 2014.
Bonnie Flynn, Executive Director of the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society, says the house is important because it helps connect today’s generation with those of the past.
“It’s very special. It was the one house that was moved down the river from its original location. Children who come for tours learn what it was like to live back in those days. They do laundry out on the front porch and it’s adorable. They’re so excited to learn about something done many years ago, to know that life wasn’t easy back then. And when they walk away, they say ‘What an awesome day!’”
King, the area’s first contractor who also built the Stranahan House, built his home, complete with running water and carbide lamps, out of Dade County Pine and joists from salvaged ship’s timbers. A second story was added in 1911. King died in the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane. Years later, his eldest daughter, Louise, lived in the house with her husband, Bloxham Cromartie.
The family occupied the house until 1968. Stanford Smoker, best known for his efforts to preserve oak trees, donated the house in 1971 to the Junior League of Fort Lauderdale. They relocated the 150-ton structure by barge to its current location: 229 SW 2nd Avenue, on the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society’s Historic Campus. Not long after, it was opened as a museum.
The Fort Lauderdale Historical Society took control of the house in 1994 and continued the Junior League’s vision of preserving the home as a place where future generations could learn about Fort Lauderdale’s beginnings.
Tours are available and children can take part in “Pioneer School Day” and learn what school and life were like for children over 100 years ago.
The Fort Lauderdale Historical Society (FLHS) brings the history of greater Fort Lauderdale to life through education, research and preservation for the enrichment of present and future generations. Believing that a sense of history is fundamental to understanding human experience, the FLHS collects, preserves and shares material from our community’s past, so that present and future generations can comprehend more fully their predecessors, their community and themselves.
With education as the primary focus FLHS offers public lectures and workshops; publish teacher resource materials; arrange school and general group tours and activities; support scholarly research through significant research assistance; maintain a 1907 house museum and three other 1905 historic structures, and a museum of changing and permanent exhibitions, and operate a research center that has functioned uninterrupted for more than 50 years.