Monday, October 28, 2013

Stranahan Park: Of Indian burial mounds and shuffleboard

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By Jane Feehan

Shuffleboard, with roots traceable to 15th-century England, was big in Fort Lauderdale beginning in the 1930s, especially after Stranahan Park was carved out of land deeded to the city. It was the site of games hosted by the Fort Lauderdale Shuffleboard Club with members from more than 30 states. The park was reportedly built with dirt from Indian burial mounds. An article in the Miami News (March 10, 1934, p. 3.) details the origins, construction and activities of Stranahan Park:

(The) … cypress swamp in the center of the city deeded to the city 20 years ago for recreational purposes by the late Frank Stranahan has been transformed into one of the most attractive city parks in this  section.

… undergrowth was cleared and overburden was taken from the Seminole Indian mounds in various sections of the city and hauled to the park site and used to build the swamp …

At no time since its inception, has Stranahan park played a larger part in the activities of the city than during the present winter. Probably more interest is shown in the shuffleboard section than any other one phase of recreation.

Tennis courts, horseshoes and card and board games were also played at Stranahan Park. Today, the 1.6-acre park consists of a pavilion, benches and an open play area. Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved. Jane Feehan.

Tags: Fort Lauderdale shuffleboard club, Fort Lauderdale in the 1930s, Fort Lauderdale historian, Miami historian

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