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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for May, 2012

Media Release – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chris Pendleton, President & CEO
Lisa Sbuttoni, PR/Marketing Director
293-334-7419

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Celebrates Memorial Day with Free Admission to Veterans

Fort Myers, Florida (May 25, 2012)– The Edison & Ford Winter Estates will honor veterans and their families with FREE ADMISSION on Memorial Day, Monday, May 28  from 9 a.m.– 5:30 p.m.  The annual event includes free admission for a self guided tour and veterans will receive a discount on items in the Museum Stores.  Active military are admitted FREE to Edison Ford year round.

Veterans will enjoy seeing the winter homes and gardens of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, their botanical laboratory, antique car collections and hundreds of inventions in the Edison Ford Museum.  Gallery demonstrations and continuous showing of films are also included in a Museum visit.
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.

In addition, a United States Navy “memorial table” has been recreated to honor those service men and women who are POW’s, MIAs and those who lost their lives in service.  The “memorial table” is smaller, honoring prisoners of war who stood alone and includes:

  • A white tablecloth representing the purity of a soldier’s response to our country’s call
  • An empty chair depicting an unknown face, representing no specific Soldier, Sailor, Marine or Airman, but all who are not here with us.
  • The smaller table is round to show that concern for soldiers is never ending.
  • A black napkin representing the emptiness the soldiers have left in the hearts of their families and friends.
  • A single red rose reminding Americans of their families and loved ones; and a red ribbon representing the love of country, which inspired soldiers to answer the nation’s call.
  • A yellow candle and yellow ribbon symbolizing the everlasting hope for a joyous reunion with those yet unaccounted for.
  • Slices of lemon on a bread plate reminding us of bitter fate.
  • Salt on the bread plate representing the tears of their families.
  • A wine glass turned upside down reminding us that our distinguished soldiers cannot be with their friends and family to drink a toast.

Join the Edison Ford in honoring servicemen and women on Memorial Day.

The Edison Ford is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The Edison Ford is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.edisonfordwinterestates.org.

Edison & Ford Holiday Nights 2012 Receives Second Distinction

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 15th

Media Release – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chris Pendleton, President & CEO
Lisa Sbuttoni, PR/Marketing Director
293-334-7419
Photo:  Children’s Tree Trail, decorated by Lee County students, is open nightly and is free to the public

What:  Edison & Ford Holiday Nights 2012
When:  December 1 – December 30
Where:  Edison & Ford Winter Estates, 2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers, FL

Edison & Ford Holiday Nights 2012 receives second distinction
December 1 – December 30

Fort Myers, FL(May 14, 2012) The 37thannual Edison & Ford Holiday Nights at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, Florida, has been scheduled for December 1 – December 30. Late last year the event was chosen as one of the Top 100 Events in the nation by the American Bus Association and earlier this month was selected as one of Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events for the month of December.

During the holidays the homes and gardens of Thomas and Mina Edison and Henry and Clara Ford will be seasonally decorated and visitors will have the option of a self guided tour or a guided tour with an Edison Ford site historian (6 and 7 p.m.). For the month long event, the site remains open until 9 p.m. with beautifully decorated historic buildings and gardens and millions of colored lights.

Edison & Ford Holiday Nights includes nightly entertainment by school and community groups, book signings and appearances by artists, and the “Children’s Tree Trail” a forest of trees decorated by Lee County Students. The Edison Ford Museum and Edison Botanic Research Lab will also be open during the event.

Tickets for a self guided tour are $15 for adults and $1 for children (6 -12); guided tours are $20 for adults and $1 for children (6 -12).  Groups may schedule guided or unguided tours from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. and will receive a discounted group rate.
The Edison Ford is open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The Edison Ford is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at www.edisonfordwinterestates.org.

President’s Update for May 2012

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 11th

Chris Pendleton, President & CEO

With the completion of the three-year restoration of the Edison Botanic Laboratory building, I receive lots of questions about ‘what’s next?’  Although we have completed almost $14 million in restoration and improvements during the past decade, we are not finished yet!

The area surrounding the Laboratory will continue to be developed and restored back to the original research gardens, propagating nursery, and experimental areas for green science – Edison Ford style.

Our organic garden on Larchmont Avenue is already very productive with crops of old fashioned heritage beans, lettuce, tomatoes and towering golden sunflowers. The garden is tended by our dedicated group of volunteers (including some UF Master Gardeners) and staff horticulturalists. It is a great spot to drop by for ideas and information about organic garden products (soil amendments from ‘worm poop,’ crab shell and sludge), irrigation drip systems, hydroponics and container gardening, and new varieties of old fashioned Florida favorites such as mangoes, bananas, citrus and other fruit trees. The popularity of this project continues to grow with our regular talks on FOX4 Morning Blend, monthly garden lectures on Saturdays and the new weekly Garden & Estates Tours on Tuesdays.

We are also not finished with site development and completion of the Master Plan. With building restoration completed, and the administrative trailer complex on Larchmont Avenue and McGregor Blvd. removed, staff offices have been relocated to buildings on Larchmont and plans are underway for the new Edison Ford Education & Innovation Center which will connect to the Museum with covered porches and walkways through the garden. This year, we will move forward with preparation of the garden and more classes in this area as we continue to overflow the classrooms in the Edison Caretaker’s House and Museum areas.

We have learned that we are both a visitor attraction as well as a community resource for programs and activities in science, history and the arts. We are also an important part of the school curriculum for both traditional education formats in the schools as well as our homeschool program and preschool activities. We are also part of the national Elderhostel program, teacher in-service and learning opportunities for not only the Edison Ford volunteers but also volunteers from our schools and colleges. Classroom, activity and teaching areas will continue to be at a premium and very important to us.

Our Five Year Report (out this summer) will track our progress and plans for the future. I look forward to sharing it with you as we continue to move Edison Ford into the new millennium!

 

NEW Oral History Project begins at Edison Ford with Helen Hendry

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 11th

Helen Hendry with Edison Ford President & CEO Chris Pendleton

Stories of the Past, an oral history of Edison Ford began in April with the premier of the exhibit  “Helen Hendry, Florida Landscape Architect and Horticulturist”.  Throughout her career, Helen took part in many significant landscaping projects including the Edison & Ford Winter Estates and is one of the nation’s leading experts on South Florida plants.  She and the Hendry family created new varieties of bougainvillea and developed the Jim Henry Hibiscus, one of the most popular selling plants today.

Helen’s collected memoirs and historical photos have been captured in a 30 minute video that is available for viewing in the Edison Caretaker’s House until May 14.  The Edison Ford is collecting oral histories of involved residents to preserve the history of the Edison and Ford family legacies.  These oral histories will be preserved in Edison Ford archives and will be available for viewing upon request.

Helen Hendry with Berne Davis

Plans are underway to collect the recorded history of Berne Davis, resident, community leader and friend of Mina Edison.

If you would like to contribute a tax exempt gift to provide funding for the Oral History Project contact the Edison & Ford Winter Estates at 239-334-7419.

So Many Ways to Experience the Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On May 11th

The Edison & Ford Winter Estates is one of the top ten most visited historic home sites in the nation and there are several ways to experience the tropical estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.  With nearly 25 acres of historic buildings and dazzling old fashioned gardens, a Museum of artifacts and inventions and the Edison Botanic Research Laboratory,  there is always something new to discover at the Edison Ford whether you are a first time visitor, or a seasoned Edison expert.

EVERYDAY TOURS

  • The Historian Led Guided Tours include homes, gardens, Lab and Museum of the Edison and Ford families. Guided tours begin every hour, on the hour, and are led by Edison Ford Site Historians.
  • The Complete Estates Audio Tour includes homes, gardens, Lab and Museum of the Edison and Ford families.  Tours are available in English, German, French and Spanish.  Audio tours begins every 15 minutes and orientation  includes an introduction to the site and instruction on using audio wands.
  • The Edison Ford Museum and Lab Tour includes the newly restored Edison Botanic Research Laboratory as well as the Edison Ford Museum.  Current Museum Galleries include, “Into the Wild: Camping Adventures with Edison, Ford and Friends;” The  Smithsonian Institute’s  “Edison After Forty;” “Music Movies and Dance;” and much more. With the restoration completed in the Edison Botanic Research Laboratory new areas have opened to the public.
  • Edison Phonograph Demonstrations every hour, on the half hour.

 SATURDAYS, 11:00 AM

  • The Edison Ford Young Inventor’s Tour is a fun, hands-on program for kids and families that includes building a Model T, making polymer, demonstrations on the Edison phonograph as well as the progression of the light bulb.

TUESDAYS, 10:30 AM

  • The Edison Ford Garden Tour is led by Edison Ford Horticulturists and includes practical home gardening, historic garden tips from the Edison and Ford families, and tour of the new organic garden areas, propagating nursery, Edison Ford Garden Shoppe, and nearly 25 acres of historic gardens and homes on the river.

WEDNESDAYS & THURSDAYS, 11: 00 AM, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 4:00 PM

  • River Cruises include the Complete Estates Audio Tour of the Edison Ford, lunch overlooking the river at the Royal Palm Yacht Club and cruise of the Caloosahatchee River with Captiva Cruises.

THURSDAYS, 10:30 AM

  • The Behind the Scenes Tour is an up close look inside the Edison and Ford homes led by Curatorial staff and also includes time in the gardens, Botanical Research Laboratory and Edison Ford Museum.

Group Tours Any Day of the Week with Reservations

  • Groups of 15 or more can schedule Edison Ford Young Inventor’s Tours, Edison Ford Garden Tours, River Cruises and Behind the Scenes Tours anytime during the week with advance notice.
  • Groups of 20 or more will receive discount admission for group tours and can also make arrangements for lunch on the property

MEMBERSHIP

  • Purchase an Edison Ford Membership and receive FREE admission on certain tours. Membership benefits also include unlimited visits to the Edison Ford as well as free and/or discounted admission to more than 600 reciprocal museums and gardens throughout the nation, discounts on classes, summer camp and special events, as well as 10% discount in the Edison Ford Museum Store, Garden Shoppe and Ford Cottage Shoppe.