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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for April, 2009

Mina Edison Estates Teas

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 29th


The Edison & Ford Winter Estates will be serving tea in the beautifully restored Edison Caretaker’s House Wednesdays in May (May 6, 13, 20, 27, and June 3) at 2 PM called  Mina Edison Estates Tea.  The Teas capture the historic elegance of her Estate and includes a private tour of the Estate Heritage Gardens with the Estates horticulturist, Debbie Hughes.   

Several of Mrs. Edison’s favorite tea time recipes will be served including Mina’s Old Fashioned Cornflake Cookies as well as hot tea and iced fruit tea, scones with local jams and honey, and a variety of delectable tea sandwiches.

Garden hats and dress are encouraged!

Reservations are required.  To register for Mina Edison Estates Tea call 239-334-7419.  The cost is $30 for Estates members and groups; $35 for non members. The Estates is open daily from 9 AM – 5:30 pm.

May Events

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 21st

May at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates is highlighted with the return of the Mina Edison Teas every Wednesday during the month of May, Mother’s Day Brunch on May 10th and Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp enrollment, as well as a variety of special exhibits, children and adult programs, throughout the month of May.  The May schedule of programs and events include:



Mina Edison Estates Teas: Wednesdays, May 6, 13, 20, 27 & June 3, 2 PM, Tea at the Estates captures the historic elegance of Mina Edison. Estates Tea will be served in the Edison Caretaker’s House and will be complimented with Edison family recipes, scones, tea sandwiches and other savory sweets.  A one-of-a-kind experience awaits participants with a heritage garden tour and time to stroll the historic homes.  Registration required.  Cost:  Estates Members, $30, non members $35. 


NEW – Mother’s Day Brunch in the Gardens: May 10, two seatings 11:30 AM & 1 PM, Treat your Mom to a delicious brunch in the beautiful historic gardens at the Estates.  The menu includes a scrumptious buffet of carved ham, mahi-mahi, an assortment of brunch foods, and much more.  Ticket price includes brunch, an Estates tour and a special gift for Mom.  Registration required.  Estates Members, adults $30, children 12 and under $16; non members adults $35, children 12 and under $20; children 3 and under FREE.


Tea & Manners for the Generations: May 9, 11 AM – 1 PM, Parents or grandparents can join their child in learning the proper etiquette and social manners with Suzanne Willis, an instructor in etiquette, who has taught similar classes at  Ritz-Carlton hotels throughout the nation.  Registration required.  Estates Members (includes one adult and one child) $45; non members $50. 


Free Admission to Moms on Motherss Day: May 10, The Estates is offering FREE admission to any mother accompanied with their paid child on Mother’s  Day.  Free admission includes a tour of the newly restored homes, the historic botanical gardens, the Estates Museum and Edison’s Research Laboratory.


New Volunteer Orientation: May 12, 10 AM, Join Estates staff to learn about volunteer opportunities, Estates policies and general Museum information.  This is a mandatory training for all Estates volunteers.  New and potential volunteers are welcome.


Home Schoolers:  “Magnificent Matter” May 15, 1 PM – 3 PM, Home schooled students and their parents can enroll in a half day of curriculum that follows the Florida Sunshine objectives for learning.  The program follows the Lee County mandated program and addresses environmental science, history and reading SOLS.  Pre-visit curriculum materials will be mailed to registered families.  Registration required. Estates members $5; non members $15 (one adult, one child) additional $5 per child. 


Wild Wizard’s Lab Show:  “Magnificent Matter,” May 17, 2 PM, Join the Estates Wild Wizards as they explore matter and the building blocks of nature.  Meet “Atom” and be prepared for hands-on experiments.    Fun for all ages.  Estates Members FREE, non members $12 adults, $6 children. 


Docent Training: May 21, 9AM, New Estates volunteers who are interested in becoming Edison & Ford porch, Lab and Museum docents, or leading a group tour of the Estates grounds must attend this mandatory meeting.


Free Admission to Veteran’s and their families on Memorial Day: May 25, The Estates is offering free admission to United States Veterans and their families on May 25th.  Free admission includes a tour of the historic homes, botanical gardens, the Estates Museum and the Edison Research Lab.  Veterans must present a VA identification card or their DD214 papers to receive free admission. 


Estates Inventor’s Summer Camp: Enroll now to guarantee your child’s spot! Estates Summer Camp is back again this year with new and exciting programs!  The Estates is a living lab, where each project or activity challenges campers in the sciences, art and nature to ask questions and discover the answers for themselves while having fun. Registration required.  Camps hours  9 AM – 4 PM.  Cost each session:  Estates Members $200, non members $230.


June 15 – 19   Animation   Grades 4 -6

June 22 – 26   Eager Engineers   Grades 4 -6

June 29 – July 3   Kitchen Chemistry   Grades 1 – 3

July 6 – 10   Movie Making Magic   Grades 4 – 6

July 13 – 17   Wild Green   Grades 4 -6

July 20 – 24   ESI: Edison Science Investigation   Grades 4 – 6

July 27 – 31   The Wizard’s World   Grades 1 – 3

August 3 – 7   Spaceships & Rockets   Grades 1 – 3

August 10 – 14   Movie Making Magic   Grades 4 -6

Henry Ford Winter Estate Restoration Complete

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 21st

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates recently celebrated the riverside restoration of the historical buildings and completion of work at the winter home of Henry and Clara Ford with “An Incandescent Evening.”  Thousands of visitors attended the weekend celebration.  The beautiful craftsman style bungalow was originally built in 1911 by Robert Smith of New York and purchased in 1916 by Henry and Clara Ford for $20,000.  The Fords enlarged the original central living area adding wings for guests and their staff. 

The recent restoration includes a ‘new’ steel shingle roof replicating the period Victorian style roof with funds provided by the Edison & Ford Winter Estates Foundation.  Important other improvements also include a state-of-the-art fire suppression system which includes an indoor mist system funded by grants from the State of Florida and HUD.  The home’s exterior was painted through a grant from Sears Great American Homes and the interior through a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Valspar historic paint collection.  Furnishings and artifacts have also been restored and expanded with contributions from the Southwest Quilter’s Guild, the College of Life Foundation and a Henry Ford portrait from the Spevak family.

Other improvements to the historic Ford Estate include a new system for wind panels and other storm retrofit that will be completed through a FEMA Wind Mitigation grant.

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, Inc is the 2009 winner of the highest award of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for its work preserving, interpreting and managing the property.  The Estates is open daily from 9 AM until 5:30 PM.  Call 334.7419 for information or group tours.

Estates Open Easter Sunday

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 7th

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates will be open Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009 from 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM.  The last guided tour departs at 4:00 PM but tickets are available until 4:45 PM for self guided tours.  Estates members are admitted free and there are several reciprocal admission programs.