Thomas Edison and Henry Ford were two of the most famous Northerners who wintered in Florida. Edison built his winter home in Fort Myers in1885 and Ford purchased his home - across the street - much later in 1916. Neither of the homes was ostentatious. But considering the Edisons were only in Florida for the month of February and the Fords for only two weeks, every luxury didn't need to be present.
Here is the Ford winter home.
Even though his winter estate was on the Caloosahatchee River, Edison built a swimming pool for his family on the grounds. He used Portland cement, one of the many companies that Edison owned.
He just wasn't about light bulbs, Victrolas, and motion pictures. In fact Edison even had a Wisconsin connection with his purchase of a wood products company in New London to build cabinets for his phonographs. When phonographs were no longer popular, the company built children's furniture.
Edison's home had an attached guest house that eventually included a dining room following a remodeling of the place.
Lush gardens surrounded the estates - thanks to the women. Edison even had a lab on the estate where he worked on finding a native source for rubber that was needed for the tires on all the Model T Fords that were on the road.
Edison and Ford enjoyed Fort Myers but we prefer the area to the north surrounding Charlotte Harbor. Punta Gorda is just beautiful. Here's a view of Fisherman's Village.
We took a cruise around a small part of the Harbor and were treated to a dolphin show. We also learned a bit of history which I'll write about in a future post.