Edgemont, the 23-room estate home of Robert Henderson, was built in 1900 on Howarden Drive

Robert Henderson

The Riverside Daily Press welcomed Robert Henderson on May 4, 1897, saying “Robert Henderson has been one of the leading brokers in fruits in New York for over 25 years, distributing fruits to all the principal markets in U.S. and also exporting to Europe. His business has always been conducted on a strictly brokerage system and he established a reputation in all these markets such as to make his name a guarantee for straightforward, honorable dealings. He has been the New York representative of Griffin and Shelly Co. for many years.”
Upon his arrival, Henderson, his sons Robert L. and Henry, and two other men started the Riverside Fruit Company, a packing and selling agency for local growers at Twelfth Street and Pachappa Avenue. At the time, the building was the largest packinghouse to be built in the city. It included such amenities as electric lights, an electric powered grader, and a conveyor system. Henry, an electrical engineer, oversaw the production of these facilities. He also served as the secretary and treasurer while his father was the president. The Riverside Fruit Company packed under the citrus bands of Alpha, Stella, and Elk. The citrus brand, Delta, was also affiliated with the Hendersons.
Henderson retired from the New York business in 1900 and focused on his Riverside Fruit Company and personal citrus groves. In 1898, Henderson bought a 40-acre property above the Gage Canal and in 1900, he built the nine-bedroom residence, Edgemont, for a cost of $13,000, the most expensive residence at the time in Riverside. The secluded location, Queen Anne-style home had a tower and sweeping verandah. The freeze of 1913 hit the Hendersons hard, and the family lost Edgemont when they lost their groves to foreclosure.