A historic Florida home has ended up stuck at sea after is was was evicted from its seaside plot. The owners of the hundred-year-old Stambaugh Cottage were forced to move it to make way for an encroaching golf course. Instead of demolishing the quaint cottage, the descendants of the pioneer who built it put it on a barge in the Intracoastal Waterway with plans to move it to a new spot, but the home has remained at sea as it awaits historic preservation status.
The Palm Beach Country Club, where the home once stood.
The rustic yellow house is an odd site, as boats jet around the make-shift barge island in the harbor near Peanut Island. Initially, the owners thought its life at sea would be short-lived, and it would head to Palm Beach Maritime Museum as a historic representation of pioneering in the area. But since historic preservation is a long process in Palm Beach County, the home as remained on its watery plot for twenty months.
Almost two years ago, the Palm Beach Country Club, which coveted the land the home was on, ponied up $10,000 to have the house relocated. A contractor donated the barge, and the owners applied to donate the home Lake Worth, the Palm Beach Maritime Museum and other venues, but no one was biting. It seemed that the home, which was owned by Orrell Gleason Stambaugh, and engineer that built some of the first roads in West Palm Beach, was not a desirable addition to the Landmark Foundation or other organizations that preserve Florida’s history.
The fate of the little house is unknown. Its current caretaker, Joette Stambaugh Keen, hopes to find a vacant lot for the home, so that its days as a makeshift house boat can soon be over.
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