The late Paul Anderson (1932-1994) was known as “The World’s Strongest Man” and beginning in 1961 channeled his fame into helping troubled youth get their lives on track. Truett Cathy, of Chic-Fil-A fame, was his first major patron in this work. After first operating the Paul Anderson Youth Home out of the Mimosa Motel in Vidalia, Anderson purchased this property in 1962, which now includes modern dormitories and other structures.
A marker placed at the site in 1995 notes: Paul Anderson was born October 17, 1932 in Toccoa and attended Furman University where he began lifting weights. In 1955 he traveled as a goodwill ambassador from the United States to the Soviet Union and there his lifting surpassed many world records. Later that year he won the World Championships. He brought home the gold medal from the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia. To date, he was the last American to win a gold medal in the super heavyweight division. On June 12, 1957, he lifted a total of 6,270 pound in a backlit, which was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the greatest weight lifted by a human being. Paul Anderson married Glenda Garland in 1959 and the Andersons established the Paul Anderson Youth Home in 1961. The Youth Home is a Christian rehabilitation facility for young people between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one who otherwise might be confined to penal institutions. Paul Anderson became a professional to raise funds through demonstrations and speaking engagements to support the Youth Home. Over 2,000 young men benefited from the home and the unselfish devotion of Georgia’s beloved Paul Anderson before his death August 15, 1994.
This 1910 Colonial Revival home is the centerpiece of the property.