The years between 1910 and 1920 saw Dade County’s population quadruple in size. The landscape was quickly evolving from deserted wetland swamps to rows of fields as rudimentary roads and auspicious homesteaders found their way south. Draining the lowlands provided ample opportunities for agricultural endeavors and it was not long before extensive development was underway.
Because transportation between disparate settlements throughout the county was difficult, general stores provided a level of convenience to residents in outlaying areas, including many farmers. Anderson’s Corner is the last of these pioneer-era commercial properties still standing in Miami-Dade county.
William “Popp” Anderson came from Indiana in the early days of the twentieth century to join his friend and hunting companion Charles Grossman, the first settler in the area. Silver Palm was known for its extensive pinelands and plentiful game. Anderson soon established a homesteaded just east of his friend and just south of the Perrine land grant.
For some time, Anderson operated a commissary car for the Drake Lumber Company, providing staples and necessities for workers in remote lumber camps. In 1911, he established the William Anderson General Merchandise Store which sold a myriad of items to residents and businesses. With living quarters on the second floor, Anderson’s Corner was strategically located across from the Silver Palm School at the intersection of two well-built roads. They sold a large selection of items to the nearby residents and businesses, though the only other options to purchase items was the town of Cutler Bay, some 15 miles away.
After serving as a general store until the 1930s, it was converted into apartments. Finally condemned in 1975, a reprieve was granted for rehabilitation. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1977, the site became a local historic site in October 1981 and rehabilitation of the structure was completed in 1985.
Sometime later, it became the Harvest House restaurant and was highly praised among the farming community in the area.
The building was heavily damaged in 1992, when Hurricane Andrew made landfall in Homestead as a Category-5 hurricane, leaving long-lasting effects throughout South Florida. Though there have been renovation efforts over the years, none have been successful and it remains vacant to this day.