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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Annual Member Celebration – Mark Your Calendar

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 23rd

● Annual Member Celebration – November 13, 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the NEW Edison Ford River Pavilion
river pavilion artist renderingEach fall, we gather with Members to look at the year ahead and the year just completed. This has been a successful and a very busy year. Members will see many changes including improvement in our museum and the New Edison Ford River Pavilion. This year our theme is a “Picnic Affair!” Put on your picnic attire and get ready to celebrate.

Back by popular demand, live music will be provided by Flash Back (who are Edison Ford Members)! There will also be a photo booth from Flash Fun Photo, a 50/50 raffle, picnic type hors d’oeurves, and a cash bar.

mina and thomas picnic outdoorsCost: Edison Ford Members FREE; Member Guests $20. You MUST RSVP by November 6 to reserve your Member Celebration tickets. RSVP to Darlene Hermey, Membership Coordinator at  dhermey@edisonfordwinterestates.org or by calling 239-334-7419.

Invitations are in the mail. See you at the Member Celebration!


Edison Ford Community Garden – Time to Renew or Sign Up for Your Plot

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 21st

community garden feb 2015It has been a long hot summer, but it is time to get excited about growing vegetables in the Community Garden once again. We are giving the Community Garden a face lift to prepare for our upcoming growing season. This will include adding additional irrigation hook-ups as well as replacing the boards of the garden plots. We will also be providing fresh compost to amend the soil for the best growing conditions. Our new Garden Specialist, Eric Frankovitch, is here to help with advice on how to get the most out of each garden plot and Janice Schmidt, Garden Shoppe Manager, is ordering appropriate vegetables for sale in the Garden Shoppe.

For more information or to reserve your plot or to renew contact Leeanne Criswell at 239-334-7419 or lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org. The community garden form is also available on our Web site.


Edison Ford Video Series Now Available

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 20th

In the past two months, Edison Ford staff have produced two videos which kick off a new effort to document both the history and the future direction of the site:

  • walter sheppart picAn oral history of Walter Sheppard, past Edison Ford Board Chair and Florida State Legislator, has been completed. This marks the beginning of an effort to collect the experiences of board members and others who have been integral to the development of the site.
  • quadricycle building a replica video seriesBuilding a Replica: The 1896 Ford Quadricycle details the ongoing project to build a replica of Henry Ford’s first vehicle,
    the quadricycle. This video offers a behind-the-scenes look at the research, planning, fabrication and assembly of this
    one-of-a-kind replica.

Both videos will be made available soon. Watch our Facebook page for more information on these and future videos!

Visit Edison Ford Museum Store & Ford Cottage Shoppe for Unique Gifts

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 18th

book quilts of henry fordThe Edison Ford Museum Store, Ford Cottage Shoppe, and the Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops has lots of unique gift items for those quilt enthusiasts!

Quilts from the Henry Ford is a 206-page book that is filled with color photos of quilts and quilt patterns. It brings 24 historic quilts to life that were made between 1825 – 1925. The book combines history, art and culture for an exciting look into the story of American quilt making.

In our shops are fabric rag dolls called “wagon train dolls,” along with wagon train doll kits. Also available are hand-made quilted hot mats that come in two sizes; as well as embroidered towels, aprons and placemats.

quilt pics and doll oct 2016

Petting Zoo at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 16th

● October 30 – 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

petting zoo girl with goatWe have moved the Petting Zoo to the Banyan Tree and Café area for shade from the trees, seating, and refreshments. Tickets are required and can be purchased at the main ticket office. Parking available in the main parking lot off of McGregor Boulevard or the new parking areas on Larchmont Avenue. Cost: Adults free; children entering the petting zoo gate will be $1.00 per child.

Film Screening and New Exhibit Opening October 28

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 15th

Exciting Night Under the Stars – “Wind Across the Everglades” Film Screening – October 28, Gates Open at 5:30 p.m.

wind across the everglades film stripJoin us for an evening under the stars for the film viewing of “Wind Across the Everglades” on the Ford riverside lawn. This 1958 classic film is about plume hunting in the Florida Everglades and the people who risked their lives to protect the birds.

The film’s main character is a newly-hired game warden, played by Christopher Plummer, who is hired to enforce conservation laws in Florida but finds himself up against a group of bird poachers. The story is based on Guy Bradley’s life – the game warden who was shot and killed by plume hunters in 1905. The characters depict what life was like in South Florida at the turn of the century and how hunters would not let anyone get in their way of collecting the bird feathers, which at that time were reportedly worth more than gold!

The movie was filmed on location in Everglades National Park. It’s filled with beautiful nature footage of birds roosting and flying, plus alligators and other Everglades wildlife. The cast includes Chana Eden, Peter Falk, Emmett Kelly and Gypsy Rose Lee in addition to Burl Ives and Christopher Plummer. Renowned screenwriter, Bwind across the everglades Stuart Schulbergudd Schulberg (Oscar-winner for “On the Waterfront”), supervised editing and completed film direction and production. K. C. Schulberg, a third-generation film executive, nephew of Budd Schulberg and son of the film’s producer, Stuart Schulberg, will speak about the film’s production.

Cost: Edison Ford Members $10; non-members $20. Movie goer refreshments will be available for purchase. A limited number of chairs will be provided; however, guests may bring a chair. For more information call 239-334-7419 or visit www.edisonfordwinterestates.org.

NEW Exhibit Opens October 28th – Birds of Southwest Florida

birds of southwest florida exhibit posterThe evening begins with a new exhibit opening in the Edison Caretaker’s house. The Birds of Southwest Florida exhibit honors one of the passions of both the Edison and Ford families who were ardent bird lovers and advocates. Visitors will learn about the Edison and Ford families love of nature, their responses to plume hunting and other threats, and the conservation efforts that they passionately supported.

This new exhibit was designed by Edison Ford staff and explores the Edison and Ford families love of birds and birding through historic photographs and illustrations. Throughout the exhibit, the photography and artwork pieces are described in the Edison and Ford families very own words.

Mina Edison was a dedicated conservationist, a member of the National Audubon Society and the Chautauqua Bird, Tree and Garden Club. In 1931, Mina encouraged the City Council to work toward a Fort Myers, “fragrant with flowers from every home [and] … adequate care for birds so that they would be loath to leave.” In 1913, Henry Ford supported the successful McLean Migratory Bird Bill (also known as the Weeks-McClean law), which protected migratory birds.

This wonderful exhibit is included with general admission. For more information call 239-334-7419.


Day Camp at Edison Ford – Grades 1st – 6th

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 13th

● October 17 – Spooky Science – 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

summer camp march 2014Join the Wild Wizard and learn the tricks of mad science. Students will discover the final research project of Thomas Edison. Engaged in the scientific method students channel their inner mad scientist by experimenting with polymers, borax crystallizations, density stackers, and chemical reactions.

Cost: Edison Ford Members $40; non-members $50. For more information or to register contact Leeanne Criswell, Edison Ford Program Registrar at lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org or call 239-334-7419.

EFWE Spooky Science Daycamp

Annual “Airing of the Quilts” at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 12th

• October 15, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Quilt show 2014 octoberOn October 15 dozens of quilts from the Southwest Florida Quilters’ Guild will be on display, suspended from clotheslines between the palm trees on Thomas Edison’s estate. There will also be antique quilts from the 1880s – 1920s displayed inside the homes.

Members from the Southwest Florida Quilters’ Guild will have quilts available for sale and artist, Marie Dyer will demonstrate silk scarf painting. Visitors may also get their photo taken with Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. There will also be antique cars from some of the area’s finest antique car clubs on display!

quilt show antique carThe Ford family has a long history with quilts. Henry Ford and his wife, Clara, collected quilts that were created and used by people from all over the United States. The quilts were often made from modest scraps of material which demonstrated the resourcefulness of American women.

“Airing of the Quilts” is included with general admission. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for teens ages 13 – 19, $11 for children ages 6 – 12, and children 5 and under are free. Edison Ford members are free.

For more information call 239-334-7419 or visit www.edisonfordwinterestates.org.

Edison Ford Homeschool Programs 2016 – 2017

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 10th

Science & Engineering Series – Morning & Afternoon Classes

Pearce roboticsThe Edison Ford Homeschool Science & Engineering Series will present students with subjects that challenge the mind and encourage collaboration and innovation. Students will learn to think like Thomas Edison and Henry Ford as they explore and solve a variety of hands-on activities and learn the key concepts and strategies of science and engineering. Each session follows the Next Generation Florida Sunshine State Standards (Common Core).

● October 14 – Computer Science & Video Design, Grades 1st – 3rd, 10:00 a.m. – Noon; Grades 4th – 6th, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Computer science has had a dramatic impact upon and continues to rapidly change the world. Students will learn concepts universal in all software environments as they design their own video game.
Upcoming classes include: November 10 – Physics: The Dynamic Universe; December 9 – Make Anything: 3D Design and Printing; January 13 – Kitchen Chemistry; February 10 – Animation in Action; March 10 – Super Solar Scientists; April 7 – Robotics

Graphic Art & Design Series – Afternoon Classes

art and design class with deborahThe creative field of graphic art & design offers an abundance of career opportunities in the commercial art world today. Students will learn some commonly used tricks-of-the-trade as we focus on a different area of design each month in our innovative digital design series. Students will be inspired by some of the greatest innovators of all time, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. Each session follows the Next Generation Florida Sunshine State Standards (Common Core).

● October 12 – Architecture & Interior Design, Grades 3rd – 10th, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. (These classes will be held at the Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops)
This class teaches two-point perspective drawing in addition to developing an appreciation of organic architecture through an engaging study of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Students will be inspired when building their own 3-D shoebox blueprint, complete with landscaping design!

Upcoming classes include: November 9 – Fashion & Shoe Design; December 14 – Printmaking Design; January 11 – Industrial Product Design; February 8 – Marketing & Logo Design; March 8 – Cartoon & Animation Design; April 19 – Transportation Design

To register email Leeanne Criswell at lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org or call 239-334-7419.
Cost per class: Edison Ford Members $15 (one adult; one child); non-members $25 (one adult; one child). Each additional child is $15. Full payment is required at the time of registration and no refunds are possible due to material costs.

Edison Ford Volunteer Meeting and Lecture

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On October 9th

● October 11, 10:00 a.m. – Top Myths about the Koreshans of Estero, Florida – Lecture Hall in South Florida Water Management
book allure of immortalityJoin us for a presentation by Lyn Millner author of The Allure of Immortality: An American Cult, a Florida Swamp, and A Renegade Prophet. Learn about the 200 Koreshans who left Chicago in 1894 to establish a utopian society in the wilderness of Estero. Copies of the book will be available to purchase and to be signed by the author. Lyn Millner’s radio stories and essays have been broadcast on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” “Weekend Edition” and on American Public Media’s “Marketplace.” Her print work has appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, Oxford American, the Hollywood Reporter, and Boca Raton Magazine. She is an Associate Professor of Journalism at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Volunteer Meetings are open to current and potential volunteers. For more information on how to become a volunteer, contact Holly Shaffer or Bobby Feldman, Volunteer Coordinators at 239-334-7419, or visit our Web site.