Edison & Ford Winter Estates: Historical museum & 17-acre botanical garden
The Edison and Ford Winter estates, 2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers, contain an historical museum and 17-acre botanical garden on the adjacent sites of the winter homes of Thomas Alva Edison and Henry Ford beside the Caloosahatchee in southwestern Florida. It is located along historic and scenic McGregor Boulevard. The homes are open daily and include optional guided tours.
The present site dates from 1885, when Edison first visited Florida and purchased the property to build a vacation home. His home, completed in 1887 and dubbed “Seminole Lodge,” served as a winter retreat and place of relaxation until Edison’s death in 1931. Edison’s good friend Henry Ford purchased the adjoining property in 1916 where he purchased “The Mangoes” from Robert Smith of New York. Ford’s craftsman style bungalow was built in 1911 by Smith. In 1947, Mrs. Mina Edison deeded the property to the city of Fort Myers in memory of her husband for the enjoyment of the public. It was opened for public tours in 1950. By 1988, the adjacent Henry Ford winter estate was purchased and opened for public tours in 1990. The $10 million restoration of the grounds was completed in 2006. A separate fundraising arm, Edison-Ford Winter Estates Foundation, Inc., was created to assist the restoration project with no function in governance, programming or development but rather to assist the governing board with the initial restoration.
For further information on touring the estates, call 239-334-7419, or visit www.edisonfordwinterestates.org