new year’s day, the edison & ford estates

by grace on January 28, 2015

it was a sunny, beautiful new year’s day, a perfect day to tour Thomas Edison and Henry Ford’s estates.

but first, we hung out a little bit at our campsite.

we took a drive down the long road to the heart of Ft. Myers – it was funny, because as we travelled closer to the center of the city, the neighborhoods, at least there on the main road, looked more and more seedy.  but when we finally turned off to drive down the palm tree-lined boulevard to the estates, the neighborhoods were much nicer.

we guessed that maybe this is where the myriad of people who work on sanibel and captiva islands live – all the hotels on the islands have so many employees, and they have to live somewhere, and the islands aren’t exactly affordable.

thomas edison bought his house here in ft. myers, and invited his friend henry ford to come visit, then convinced him to build a house next door.  there’s a museum on the property, which we didn’t spend as much time in as we could have, because we spent so much time on the lovely grounds.

you couldn’t actually go into the houses, but rather, we looked in at the rooms through glass doors.  this was fine with us, because who wants to be inside on a bright and sunny day on the very first day of the new year?

many beautiful flowers, bushes and trees were planted all over the property.

a couple of white herons were strolling around the property – you can just see the back of edison’s house in the background

that used to be a very long dock out into the river, and it had a wonderful-looking gazebo at the end of it.  it’s gone now, of course.

kevin took this picture of the remaining posts going out into the water.

such tall palm trees!

edison’s living room had beautiful, ornate light fixtures.

and here’s his wide and lovely front porch.

a bit of the back porch, featuring some of the original edison wicker furniture.  i can’t imagine how they managed to preserve that.

here’s the walkway leading from edison’s main house to his gues house.

the houses were decorated in the style that the families would have had at the time.

i love this tree topper!

there were quite a few christmas light boxes on display – isn’t it something, that he invented them all?  i bet he didn’t actually have the boxes on display, though, that woulda kida been showing off, huh?

i loved the decorations in the dining room…

…especially these wreaths attached to the backs of every chair!  i’ve never seen anything like that before.

these were a few giant hydrangea.  they planted so very many different things all around the property.

the front of edison’s house, with many different kinds of lemon trees all over the place.

a crazy, huge fig tree!

kevin took this picture of this thing…which was very cool-looking…but we didn’t know what it was.  we had audio guides for the place, but it couldn’t go into detail about every single plant on the property.

we had no idea what kind of big fruits were growing on this tree…

…but luckily it had a sign.

here is ford’s house, right next to edison’s.  it wasn’t as big or fancy, but still a very nice place.

this is ford’s cozy living room.

and another mammoth tree in back of the estates.  we sat there for a while and enjoyed the view.

i’m pretty sure this was the “moonlight garden;” it was really pretty and i wish we could have just sat there for a while.  but it was kinda hot, and we were tired out of all the touring around the place.

after leaving, we drove a very short way into downtown ft. myers. it was also on the river, with many old building that had been restored, but we didn’t find any restaurants that looked so appealing.  i wanted to eat overlooking the water, so we drove right back to a restaurant right next to the edison estate.  it was called pincher’s crab shack, and i had a half dozen mediocre oysters, and kevin had the best salmon i’ve ever tried.  this was my view from our seats, with the edison estate right there.

one our way home, we stopped at the grocery store -they have Publix grocery store about every mile or so along the street.  we went to the grocery store a lot on our trip, it seems.  at this particular one, i bought a miniature palm tree.  it was on this display that said “xmas plants,” and it was on sale for only 10 bucks!  i have a picture somewhere to show you.  it’s very cool and i hope it continues to survive here in my living room!

that night we watched the first part of the second “hobbit” movie.  there in very very warm florida.

can we go back there now?

well, we can’t, because i’m going to be in a play and have rehearsals every night.

ok then,

mrs. wednesday hughes.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Bev R. January 28, 2015 at 7:08 pm

I think your mystery plant was a very old and large staghorn fern. The name comes from the green parts looking like antlers.

Great pictures.


grace January 28, 2015 at 10:14 pm

thanks for the great info, bev!!!


Kevin January 29, 2015 at 6:36 am

BING…!!!! The penny just dropped… I knew Calabash sounded familiar when we saw the sign… The calabash gourd is used to make the type of pipe that Sherlock Holmes supposedly smoked. AND… I have one in my ManCave! Ha! (mind like a waxpaper trap….)


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