The City of Homestead is the second oldest city in Miami-Dade County. The South Dade area opened to homesteaders in 1898. In 1904 Flagler decided to extend the railroad to Key West from Miami, enabling area farmers to transport their fruits and vegetables to Miami and other parts of the state. Many of the railroad workers stayed in the area and became city founders. In 1912 the Overseas Railroad was completed and in 1913 the City of Homestead was incorporated. The historic district developed from the 1910s through the 1920s in the vicinity of the main railroad depot.
Today Homestead encompasses 16 square miles, with a population of approximately 62,000 residents. Homestead is an integral part of the multi-billion dollar vegetable, fruit and tropical foliage market in Miami-Dade County and the United States. Agri-business remains a significant job base. In addition, the presence of two National Parks, Biscayne and Everglades, attracts 1.5 million visitors annually. Homesteadâ€™s Historic Downtown District is the home to three nationally designated and four locally designated structures. The District itself was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007, thanks to the volunteer efforts of the Homestead Main Street organization as well as the Homestead Historic Preservation Board. This rural town center is representative of the unique character of small town America that the Main Street program strives to protect and preserve.
Homestead Main Street works closely with the City of Homesteadâ€™s Community Redevelopment Agency and other organizations such as the Seminole Theater and Atala Montessori School for Creative Expression to initiate downtown economic revitalization and to bring an expanded cultural element to the downtown area.