Homestead, Florida preserves a proud and rugged heritage as the second oldest city in Miami-Dade County. Settlement began in the South Dade region in 1898, when the only entrance to the remote area was the “Homestead Trail”. Henry Flagler, the dynamic Florida business tycoon, chose to extend his railroad from Miami to Key West in 1904. The Homestead area became the work camp for builders of the railroad. The city incorporated in 1913.
Homestead, FL lies about fifteen miles inland from lovely Biscayne Bay on the Atlantic Coast. Three times catastrophic hurricanes have swept through the region, leaving a trail of devastation behind. The 1926 Miami Hurricane demolished the railroad that gave birth to Homestead. The 1945 Hurricane destroyed Homestead’s World War II airbase. Hurricane Andrew in 1992 proved the most destructive storm in Homestead’s history, completely leveling portions of the city. The hardy stamina of the Homestead, FL people shows in the way they rebuild and reinvent their city and their lives after these tragedies.
Today, Homestead, Florida boasts a revitalized downtown district, a thriving economy that is expanding outwards from its traditional agricultural base, and a lucrative tourist industry. Home to 31,909 people at the time of the 2000 Census, 2004 estimates reached 38,000 and 2006 estimates show 44,000 residents, a growth of almost forty percent. The entire Miami-Dade County region expects enormous population growth, as the technological industry takes hold in south Florida.
Homestead, FL contains a 280-acre Park of Commerce, a light-industrial park. Homestead and neighboring Florida City are each Rockefeller Foreign Trade Zones. The city of Homestead offers lucrative incentives to incoming businesses, while taking care to preserve the historic districts and the pleasant small-town atmosphere that makes Homestead, FL unique.
Homestead’s enviable location provides a wealth of recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Situated only twenty-seven miles south of dazzling Miami, the mysterious wilderness of the Everglades lies just to the west of Homestead, FL. Exotic Biscayne Bay National Park is minutes to the east, and the rollicking fun of the Florida Keys waits to the south. With the lush, sub-tropical climate, Homestead, FL provides year-round opportunities for adventure.
Within city limits are the Homestead Speedway, the Seminole Theater and the ArtSouth Campus, dedicated to fine arts, crafts and sculpture. Plans exist for a water-theme park in the Homestead / Florida City area.
Homestead, Florida exemplifies the strength and spirit of the American people. With a heritage of perseverance, pride and strength, Homestead plans a promising future, offering the close proximity of urban promise and the serenity and safety of small-town living.