Local Group Goes To Great Lengths To Preserve Historic Broward County Home

Nov 30, 2012

Broward residents are reclaiming a little bit of county history. The nearly 100-year-old Sample-McDougald House is opening to the public this weekend.

The house has 17 rooms and a two-story wrap-around porch. It's considered a colonial revival-- an architectural style that became popular following the United States' centennial.

The newly minted museum has had a long journey to its new home in Pompano Beach.

Albert Neal Sample was a pineapple farmer and the namesake of Sample Road. He built the house in 1916 and it's among only a few houses that old still standing in Broward County.

When the McDougald family decided to sell the property the house was built on in 2001, the preservation society literally had the house picked up in one piece and moved to a plot owned by the city of Pompano Beach.

As Dan Hobby of the Sample-McDougald House Preservation Society will tell you, preserving that kind of history isn't always easy. 

"And over the last decade it's been moved, restored, hit by (Hurricane) Wilma, restored again, and the four- acre site developed," Hobby explained.

Finally, $2.5 million later, the house will open to the public on Saturday, Dec. 1. Hobby said it was well worth the effort. He believes people have a need to know about their history, perhaps as it's told by the historic homes of South Florida.

"On a community level, houses such as the Sample-McDougald House or Vizcaya or the Stranahan House, those types of places connect us to our past and give us a sense of community and sense of place,” said Hobby.

General admission to connect with this particular piece of South Florida history is $5.