Deerfield’s Pioneer Housing
Originally from West Virginia, brothers Stuart and William Kester settled in Florida in the 1920‘s and began building their trademark cottages in the Pompano/Deerfield area in 1937.
Their houses were build of Dade County Heart pine and were equipped with running water and indoor plumbing. There were 1, 2, 3 and an occasional 4-bedroom model. They were painted white and all had their trademark shutters with assorted cutouts, all which were made on site.
There were as many as 150 houses built in Pompano and Deerfield. These houses provided needed work to local residents and affordable housing for new working families in the area. Some of homes near the ocean were rented to tourists. Only a few original Kester Cottages remain and one is on the grounds of the Butler House, home of the Deerfield Beach Historical Society.
Their success in the building business and other ventures enabled to them generously donate land to Deerfield Beach including the land where Pioneer Park is today and land for the First Baptist Church. One of the early buildings build by the Kester brothers is still in use today and referred to as the Kester Building. It provided accommodations for a number of landmark businesses, such as Wright’s Drug Store home of Deerfield’s first telephone.