Explore Where You Live!
There is so much to do and see right here in Southwest Florida!
Photo from www.edisonfordwinterestates.org
Edison & Ford Winter Estate
As a native to Florida there are things that I often forget are right in my backyard. Sometimes it is fun to explore as a tourist! One of my favorite places is the Edison & Ford Winter Estate, in Fort Myers. This awesome estate was established in 1886 when inventor Thomas Edison purchased land along the Caloosahatchee River and constructed a winter home, which he named Seminole Lodge. This is where he and his wife Mina wintered every year until his death in 1931. His friends Henry & Clara Ford wanted to spend time in SWFL with their friends in the winters, so in 1915 they purchased the adjacent property and built a bungalow-style house naming it The Mangoes.
Today, visitors can explore nine historic buildings including Henry Ford’s home and Thomas Edison’s main house, guest house, caretaker’s house, the ahead of its time pool complex and the pier built to deliver materials for construction. The Estates features over 20 acres of lush botanical gardens, boasting over 1,700 plants and one of the largest Banyan trees in the U.S.
Research Lab at the Estate
Visitors can go inside The Edison Botanic Research Laboratory, which is unique to the estate. This was built for researching a domestic source for organic rubber and is now filled with the actual equipment Edison used to conduct his research. This building is a National Historic Chemical Landmark, which has undergone an extensive two-year restoration. The exhibit also includes a rubber floor, the original lab results of how much rubber each tree and plant produced, samples of rubber in various stages of completion, and a video depicting a re-creation of Edison’s rubber experiment.
Don’t forget to check out The Smithsonian Spark! Lab that is a hands-on, interactive exhibit for families and children. Or the Timeline of Innovation which is a chronological exhibit of both Edison’s and Ford’s major innovations.
For More Information:
You can easily spend all day at these beautiful South Florida Estates. For more information about hours and tickets go to www.edisonfordwinterestates.org
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