Edison and Ford Winter Estates History and Preservation

The Edison and Ford Winter Estates will have more than 20 acres of historical buildings and gardens, including the 1928 Edison Botanical Research Laboratory.

History of Edison and Ford Winter Estates

In 1886, after falling in love with Fort Myers for the first time in 1885, Edison finished building his holiday home on the Caloosahatchee River. Known as Seminole Lodge, the house was where Edison spent his winters and worked up until his passing in 1931.

Alden Frink of Massachusetts created the house based on Edison’s plans, and a group of Edison engineers and employees put it together using precut lumber from Fairfield, Maine, which was shipped by boat to Fort Myers.

Ford and Edison met up at Edison’s mansion as they developed into great friends and business partners over the years. Ford bought Edison’s neighboring home in 1916, renaming it the Mangoes, and the Edison family invited Ford to spend the following 15 winters there.

The Edison Ford Gardens

A banyan tree that Edison planted is one of the grounds’ most striking features. The tree, which occupies an acre of the land and is one of the biggest in the world, is just the beginning of the extensive gardens. I was fortunate to have Steve, the estates’ horticulture, lead me through the dense undergrowth.

The gardens, which feature 1,700 plants and flowers from six continents, are incredibly beautiful and fragrant. One of my favorites, the Moonlight Garden, which belonged to Edison’s wife Mina and has been meticulously restored to its splendor in the early 1900s, soon became the subject of my reflections for several minutes.

Edison Ford Winter Estates Interesting Places

Edison Guest House

Initially, Thomas Edison’s business associate owned the Guest House. As their relationship ended, new owners bought the home. The Edison family purchased the house in 1906 and started utilizing it as a guest house. Notable attendees at the event included Herbert Hoover, Harvey Firestone, and Henry Ford, among many others. A sitting room, dining area, kitchen, guest bedrooms, and staff housing are all included in the guest house.

Swimming Pool Complex

The 50′ x 20′ swimming pool, one of the first home pools, is thought to have been built in 1910 using Edison Portland Cement. The Pool House, which has showers and changing areas, as well as the Tea House, were added during a 1928 renovation. In 1919, Edison commissioned the construction of a concrete cistern to store a sizable quantity of drinkable water for home usage. The new cistern was made to hold rainwater collected from Seminole Lodge’s roof tops.

Options for Touring the Edison and Ford Winter Estates.

Other excursions offered by the Edison & Ford Winter Estates include the Young Inventors’ Tour and the Historian Tour, but the boat tour sounded like the perfect way to round off my discoveries. Once on board, performers playing Edison and Mina provided a narration of the journey, detailing their lives on the estate.

People saw a variety of wildlife while we were cruising down the Caloosahatchee River, including dolphins, manatees, and rays. Together with the beautiful surroundings, it’s intriguing to hear the tales of life on the estates.

You may also ask :

Who owns Edison winter Estates?

The City of Fort Myers, which has owned the Edison property since 1947 and the Ford site since 1988, is in charge of managing the Edison and Ford estates through our non-profit business, the Thomas Edison & Henry Ford Estates, Inc.

How long does it take to tour Edison and Ford Winter Estates?

Edison Ford Daily Guided Tour

The tour should last 60 minutes, plus extra time to see the accompanying Museum and Laboratories. Regularly throughout the day, guided tours are provided; reservations are taken at the ticket counter on a first-come, first-served basis.

Was the Edison Ford Museum damaged?

We are really fortunate that Thomas Edison and Henry Ford’s historic mansions were not harmed because they are high.

Edison Museum Cost

Adults 16 years of age and older must pay $15 to enter Edison National Historical Site; children under 15 are admitted free. Cards must be credit or debit.

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