In 1886, inventor Thomas Edison purchased land along the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers and constructed a winter home dubbed Seminole Lodge where he and his wife Mina wintered until the inventor’s death in 1931. Wanting to spend the winters with the Edison's, their friends Henry Ford and his wife Clara purchased the adjacent property in 1915 and built a bungalow-style house naming it The Mangoes. Read our blog article about our visit to Edison & Ford.
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.
Also, unique to the estate is Edison’s Botanic Research Laboratory, which was built for researching a domestic source for organic rubber and is now filled with the actual equipment Edison used to conduct his research.
Costumed actors portraying the Edison’s, the Ford’s and their friends can be found milling about, giving visitors a glimpse into how these wealthy residents lived during that time period.
Go inside Edison’s Laboratory on a 60 minute Inside the Lab Tour to learn about the operation of the historic Edison Botanical Research Laboratory, a National Historic Chemical Landmark, which has undergone an extensive two-year restoration. Inside the Lab Tour is an exciting, in-depth tour that is not combined with any other Edison Ford Estates tour. Tours are offered each Tuesday and Friday at 10:30 a.m. Admission is $10.00 for members, $40.00 for adult non-members and $16.00 for children ages 6-12.
Learn about the ecology and history of the river that the Edison and Ford families loved so much!
Edison & Ford Winter Estates and Captiva Cruises will be offering Edison Ford River Cruise & Tours from Captiva Island beginning February 26, 2014 at 10 a.m. The River Cruise & Tours will be offered every Wednesday during Season. The river tour shows the importance of the Caloosahatchee ecologically and culturally, includes a view of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates from the water and guided tour of the Edison and Ford historic homes, gardens, lab and museum. Participants will arrive at the new Marina at Edison Ford and will have time to enjoy lunch on their own at Pinchers Crab Shack at the Marina. Ticket cost: $65 Adults, $60 children (ages 12 and under) plus tax and includes and historian led tour of the river and Edison Ford. River Cruise & Tour program is a project of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Captiva Cruises and Pinchers Crab Shack at The Marina at Edison Ford. Seating is limited and reservations are suggested.
Boat Cruise of the Caloosahatchee and self-guided tours of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates begins February 26, 2014 at noon and 1 p.m., departing at The Marina at Edison Ford. Self-guided tour includes audio tour of the Edison and Ford historic homes and gardens, admission to the Edison Lab and Inventions Museum and cruise of the Caloosahatchee River with Captiva Cruises. Ticket cost: $45 adults, $35 children (ages 12 and under). Tickets may be purchased at the Edison Ford ticket office or at The Marina at Edison Ford. Participants will depart from at the new Marina at Edison Ford and will have time to enjoy lunch on their own at Pinchers Crab Shack. River Cruise & Tour program is a project of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Captiva Cruises and Pinchers at The Marina at Edison Ford. Seating is limited and reservations are suggested. The Marina at Edison Ford is located at 2360 W. First Street in downtown Fort Myers (or Marker 54 by boat).
For additional information about the river cruises and tours call Edison Ford 239.472.5300 or visit them at www.edisonfordwinterestates.org
Edison & Ford Winter Estates admission, hours, information and directions.
Edison & Ford Winter Estates is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
2350 McGregor Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33901
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