I was nine when I trudged up the stairs of the King-Cromartie House with six other kids and their moms. The house, although it was old, seemed alive like one of the Little House on the Prairie books that mom got me. Stepping into that house was like stepping back in time and I was amazed by everything about it: the front room that had once served as a general store; the upstairs children’s nursery with its huge dollhouse and the creepy porcelain doll sitting in the rocking chair. Thankfully, I didn’t know about the ghostly rumors or I might never have slept again.
The King-Cromartie house was originally the home of Edwin T. King, a local contractor. When it was built during the turn of the 20th century, it was originally located on the south bank of the New River. King lived there with his family, including his daughter Louise, who would later live there with Bloxham Cromartie, her husband. They lived there until 1968 and then sold the house to people who planned to tear it down. The Junior League of Fort Lauderdale rescued the home during the early 1970s and transplanted by barge it to its current location at 229 SW 2nd Avenue. They opened it as a museum, years before it became one of the buildings of the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society in 1994.
Staycationing with Spirits?
Staycationing is one thing. But staycationing with spirits? Rumor has it that both the King-Cromartie House and the New River Inn located on the same street are haunted. Many claim that the King-Cromartie House is haunted by the legendary Pink Lady, the spirit of Louise King-Cromartie. It’s said that she enjoys peeping out of windows on the second floor. A local ghost hunter even caught videotape of the curtains moving, long after the staff had left for the night. Is the King-Cromartie home truly haunted? You be the judge.
If You Go
The King-Cromartie house is located at 229 SW 2nd Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. It is open Tuesday through Sunday. Guided tours are at 1 pm, 2 pm, and 3 pm. Tickets are $10 and include two other Fort Lauderdale Historic Society buildings: the New River Inn and the 1899 Replica Schoolhouse. As all three buildings are located on the same block, this is an informative and inexpensive way to enjoy a charming – and perhaps ghostly – side of Fort Lauderdale.