Museum of Natural History


The Fort Lauderdale Museum of History

219 SW 2nd Ave

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301


Written by Julie Greiner

The Fort Lauderdale Historical Society was founded in 1962 for the purpose of preserving the cultural history and lifeways of the peoples of Fort Lauderdale. The Society has amassed the largest historical collection in the county. The Museum is housed at the historical site of the New River Inn. The New River Inn dates back to 1905 and is a masonry vernacular, 2 and a half story concrete structure with 2-tier veranda around 2 sides. This large early hotel served railroad and ship travelers.

Photographic Collection of Old Fort Lauderdale

The Society's photographic collection contains approximately 250,000 (primarily Black and White) images relating to the history of Broward County. 20,000 of these images are available for copying. The Gene Hyde Collection of 200,000 negatives is the product of a local commercial photographer. There are images of everything from weddings to civil rights demonstrations. There is also an oral history collection. This collection comprises about 250 interviews of local residents documenting World War II in Fort Lauderdale to the hurricane of 1926.

Old Fort Lauderdale Village

The Old Fort Lauderdale Village and Museum, owned and operated by the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society is an important cultural resource for the residents of Southeast Florida. The village shows the evolution of a typical south Florida community from the late 1890s through the 1920s that developed as a result of the growth of transportation, tourism and the real estate development. The intersection of the New River and Henry Flagler's Florida East Coast Railway incorporates four turn of the century historic buildings; The New River Inn (1905), the Philemon Bryan Home (1905), the King-Cromartie House (1907 - which was relocated from a nearby site) and a reconstruction of the settlement's first School House (1899).

Old Fort Lauderdale Museum

The Museum contains one of Florida's most important collections of state and local history, including the Stranahan Manuscript Collection as well as important documents, photographs and audio-taped oral histories illustrating pioneer life in southeast Florida. The village and museum illustrates the evolution of a typical south Florida community from the late 1890s through the 1920s that developed as a result of the growth of transportation, tourism and real estate development. Real estate speculation and land development were important factors in the beginning of the town when fewer than fifty people settled along the banks of the New River at the turn of the last century.

Oakland Park Elementary School

The Oakland Park Elementary School, the oldest school in Broward County, is still in use as a school. The architect, Thomas D. McLaughlin designed the structure in a Mediterranean Revival design. It consists of a one story main classroom building, distinguished by arcaded walkways and an open courtyard. The Deerfield Beach School is also of Mr. McLaughlin's design and consists of two-stories, barrel-tile roof and arcaded walk-ways. This is the oldest operative school in Deerfield Beach and the second oldest in the county. For further information on group tours and visiting the museum call (954) 463-4431.

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