Hurricane season brings concerns to owner of floating cottage

West Palm Beach, Fla. - A home without a home. The 110-year-old Stambaugh Cottage once belonged to one of Henry Flagler's engineers. It was removed from its original foundation at the Palm Beach Country Club in 2011 in hopes of finding a new location to restore it.

Two years later the yellow cottage is still without a ground to stand on and avoiding destruction with each passing day in the middle of the Intracoastal.

"The Stambaugh Cottage has avoided the wrecking ball a half a dozen times now so it has been renamed 'the little house that could,'" said Jim Vance.

Vance donated the barge it sits on and now owns the house. He hopes for the cottage to become part of a World War II museum, but with no solid plan, the worry turns toward hurricane season.

The 'little house that could' did survive last year but we didn't see any direct hits from hurricanes here in south Florida. Now what about this year? Are there plans in place to make sure the 'little house that could', doesn't become the 'little house that sank,' said Vance

"There is a written plan in place to deal with a hurricane or any kind of severe weather event. It would probably be the first barge that's moved, and we would latch it down like any other piece of cargo on a cargo ship which would prevent it from floating off if the barge sank or broke off its mooring." he said.

If it survives hurricane season, the little house's fate may end up in Vance's vineyard in North Carolina, but he would rather keep it here.

"I've said a lot of prayers to keep this little house that could alive so with a little bit of luck we're going to be able to pull it off and it's going to stay in palm beach county for the remainder of its term," said Vance.
 

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