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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for November, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend Events at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On November 20th

The Edison Garden Market and Creative Cottage are two added activities at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates on Thanksgiving Weekend.  The Estates will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9 AM – 5:30 PM and closed on Thanksgiving Day.

Throughout the weekend more than 30 vendors and the Estates Garden Shoppe will offer a wide variety of unusual plants including heritage plants, orchids, bamboo, bromeliads, fruits, vegetables, roses, edibles and gift items for the garden and home.  Holiday gifts such as the Estates Heritage Herb baskets and other items from the Estates Garden Shoppe will also be available.  The Edison Garden Market is a free event located in the Estates public gardens and the area near the Banyan Tree.  Edison Garden Market hours are Friday, November 27, noon – 5 PM; Saturday, November 28, 9 AM – 5 PM; Sunday, November 29, 9 AM – 3 PM.   

Creative Cottage also opens Thanksgiving weekend in the Edison Caretaker’s House with spectacular work for purchase by regional artists, authors and chefs.  Featured artisan, Norman Love, internationally known award winning chocolatier has created a special “Edison” hand-crafted chocolate in honor of Thomas Edison.  Other artists include:  Leoma Lovegrove, Marie Dyer, Manfred Behr, Karen Flanders, Ellen Sheppard, Virginia Harper, Anita Singh, James DiGiorgio, Lynn Russell, and members of the Southwest Florida Quilter’s Guild.  Creative Cottage will be open 1 PM – 5 PM until December 11.  During the Estates Holiday event, Edison & Ford Holiday Nights, hours will be extended to 9 PM.  Estates members are always admitted free and will receive a 10% discount.  For non members a “shoppers pass” will be issued at the main ticket area.

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates received the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) 2009 Phoenix Award at a reception at the Royal Palm Yacht Club, in Fort Myers, Florida on November 18, 2009.  The SATW Phoenix Awards recognize organizations actively involved in conservation, preservation and beautification that further the growth and appeal of North American travel destinations.   SATW President, Timothy O’Keefe, presented the award.

The annual award, given since 1969, is to recognize individuals or organizations actively involved in conservation, preservation, beautification and anti-pollution campaigns that further the growth and appeal of North American travel destinations.  The SATW is a non-profit professional association that works to promote responsible travel journalism and to provide professional support for its members. 

The Estates was nominated by Laurie Borman, SATW past president.  Borman said, “I saw an inspiring place where visitors can peek into the lives of two American geniuses.  These homes bring to life the exciting times and lifestyles of the 1920’s, as well as provide a compelling attraction to downtown Fort Myers.  I also visited the homes as a child on vacation, so it was especially gratifying to see that this treasure has been preserved for future generations to appreciate.”

Chris Pendleton, president & CEO of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates accepted the award and said, “We are grateful to the Society of American Travel Writers for this honor.  The Estates staff and Board of Trustees are proud of the newly completed $12 million restoration and will continue to preserve this national historic treasure to provide visitors with a unique historical, scientific, educational and cultural experience.”

For 2009 a total of five Phoenix Awards were designated, the others being, Journey Through Hallowed Ground, Waterford, Virginia; World Bird Center, McAllen, Texas; Gerding Theater at the Armory, Portland, Oregon; and Main Huts and Trails, Kingsfield, Maine.

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is offering FREE admission to United States Veterans and their families on November 11, 2009. The Estates is honoring the men, women and their families who have served our country.  Free admission includes a tour of the historic homes, botanical gardens, the Estates Museum, and Edison’s Research Laboratory.  In addition, Veterans will receive a 10% discount on Estates membership and items in the Museum Store. 

Veterans must present a VA identification card or their DD214 papers to receive free admission. Current servicemen and women may also gain free admission by presenting an active military ID. 

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is recipient of the National Trust for Historic Preservation Stewardship Award, a National Register Historic Site and a Florida Historic Landmark.  The Estates is open daily from 9 AM until 5:30 PM year-round.  The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is a private non-profit organization and receives grants through the State of Florida Department of Historical Resources as well as tourism marketing grant from the Lee County Tourism Commission.  Call 239.334.7419 or check the website at www.efwefla.org.

Group Experience at Edison & Ford Holiday Nights

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On November 3rd

Edison & Ford Holiday Nights

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is offering wonderful group experiences this holiday season.  This unique opportunity is available for groups of 20 or more and is perfect for businesses, clubs, and other organizations.  Contact the Estates Education Department at 239.334.7419 for more details.

Holiday Nights Group Experience, $55/person


  • Refreshments upon arrival
  • Choice of Presentation (Holiday Traditions or Henry Ford & the Model T)
  • A guided tour of the Edison Botanic Research Lab
  • A behind-the-scenes tour inside the Edison and Ford homes
  • Buffet dinner on the Ford Property
  • Time to enjoy Holiday Nights; 20 acres of historically decorated homes and gardens

Available December 12, 2009 – January 2, 2010

Program begins at 2PM and concludes at 6PM leaving time for guests to see Holiday Nights.

Holiday Traditions: Take a step back in time and see how the Edisons, the Fords and the rest of America celebrated the holiday season throughout our history.

Henry Ford & the Model T: Henry Ford revolutionized travel and transportation with the Model T and the Assembly Line.  Learn about Henry Ford’s life, his accomplishments and his time here in Fort Myers.

Click here to view our vacation packages.