Shippey House, first occupied by Broward County’s second judge Fred Shippey in 1913, will be preserved. The home was moved from its original location at 215 SW 7th Avenue in Sailboat Bend to its new location on SW 3rd Avenue in Cooley’s Landing Park (part of the historic Himmarshee Village) Sunday, December 7, 2011.
Fred Shippey served as county judge from 1920 to 1933, when an illness forced him to resign. During his time on the bench, Shippey also performed marriage proceedings in his home. A notable client was “Tarzan” star and swimming champion Johnny Weissmuller.
According to Merrilyn Rathbun, Research Director of the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society and Historic Preservation Consultant to the City of Fort Lauderdale, “Fred Shippey’s service to his family, his county, and his country, with his overseas service, reveals a man of moral integrity. As a judge, he used his position to help people. Most importantly, he incorporated his charity work outside of the courtroom into his work on the bench; over the years, as a member of the Elks Lodge, he was recognized for his work with disabled children. Still, his works with juvenile court cases were his ‘claim to fame’. He presided over 1,000 juvenile cases and never had a re-offender.”
Friends of the Shippey House have worked tirelessly to raise funds to save the home from destruction since 2008, after it went into foreclosure and was purchased by a New York-based company. The Sailboat Bend Civic Association estimated a cost of $32,000 to relocate the house and an additional $158,000 to restore it.
Plans for the home are to restore the exterior to its 1913 state, where it will serve as an excellent historic anchor to The Riverwalk’s west end. On the east end of Riverwalk sits the famous Stranahan House. Both structures offer a unique peek into Fort Lauderdale’s history.