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Old Florida

By Linda Tancs

The winter estates of inventor Thomas Edison and auto magnate Henry Ford are representative of a bygone era, tropical “old Florida.” Their historic homes are located in Fort Myers at Edison & Ford Winter Estates. Henry Ford purchased his home, The Mangoes, in 1916, providing him the opportunity to vacation with his good friend Thomas Edison. The porch, adjacent to the vintage garage, offers a spectacular riverfront view of the Caloosahatchee River. Edison’s Seminole Lodge contains the oldest structure at the Edison Ford complex, the caretaker’s cottage. Over the years Edison renovated and expanded his getaway to include more family bedroom suites in the main house, a guest house and pool complex. Besides their beautiful homes, the estate features over 20 acres of botanical gardens, nine historic buildings (including Edison’s botanic research laboratory) and the Edison Ford Museum, which contains an impressive collection of inventions, artifacts and special exhibit galleries sure to stir innovation and creativity among its visitors.

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