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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for June, 2014

Fourth of July at Edison Ford – Kids Get FREE Admission

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 27, 2014

flag with eagleEdison & Ford Winter Estates is offering FREE admission to children, ages 15 and under, on Friday, July 4, 2014. Spend the day with Edison Ford from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. with a self-guided audio tour of the museum, historic homes, gardens and laboratory. The museum contains an impressive collection of inventions, artifacts and special exhibits.

Did you know the Fourth of July was Thomas Edison’s favorite holiday? He would devote the entire day to his children, waking up early to set off fireworks. Celebrate America’s birthday at Florida’s own “National Treasure.”


President’s Update July 2014

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 26, 2014

president update     This year, the Edison Ford Summer Inventor’s Program continues for 11 weeks. This is our 9th summer and predictably most of the sessions were full by early Spring. The word is out about these amazing programs which span science, the environment, history and the arts. This year we added a new topic – reading and writing books about anything related to Edison, Ford, science, history and nature. We are very excited about this program.

Every week, we have an average of 60 students involved, including Junior Counselors and two college Summer interns. Friday is always one of our favorite days, as it is Graduation Day; complete with student presentations, show and tell and time for parents and students to socialize – one more time!

With contributions to summer camp and education programs, we are able to extend scholarships to students who are recommended by their teachers, and must submit a paper on why they would like to be part of the summer camp program. The list of individuals, companies and foundations is growing every year, and this year we would like to thank the following:

AIA Trust, Baltimore Community Foundation, Bank of America, BGI-USA, Martha Campbell, Jack & Cathi Carruthers, Charles Edison Fund, George M. Cox Trust, Ed & Augusta Crane, Margaret Crishal, Bernese Davis, Martha Dean, Dex Imaging, Dr. Scholl Foundation, Edison Inventor’s Assoc., Edison National Bank, EFWE Foundation, Charles & Sass Edwards, Mrs. John summer camp certificateEhrenzeller, Forestry Resources, Inc., Florida Power & Light, Dr. Cheryl Gabe, GE, GE Foundation, L. J. Gregorchik, Nancy Harris, HAS Engineering, Helen Hendry, Robert & Jane Holder, Sally Johnson, Don & Arlene Keehan, Dick & Linda Kughn, LCEC, Lee County Garden Council, Lee County VCB, Leoma Lovegrove, Jaimie & Jan MaGirl, Mark Joseph Realty, Inc., Mary Helen McDonald, Frederick & Melvin Morgan, Steve Neihaus, Parker/Mudgett/Smith Architects, Chris & Nat Pendleton, Phelan Holdings, Inc., Richard & Madeleine Plummer, Fred Quinn, Chip & Nancy Roach, Mary Ann Sedlock, Margaret Sirianni, Southwest Florida Distributing & Publishing, Robert Sperling, Beverly Taht, Gloria Wood

If you would like to help, you can contact Darlene Hermey in the Membership Department, and contribute at anytime throughout the year.

July Tours and Programs

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 25, 2014

July tours and programs

2014 Edison Ford Inventors Summer Camp

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 15, 2014

    Edison Ford is excited to begin the 9th year of the Inventors Summer Camp Program. This year technology and robotics will be expanded with a new Video Game Design Week, as well as an additional week of Robotics to meet the high demand. New this year is an illustrating and writing program where students become authors!

Edison Ford would like to welcome Sabrina Perri and Marina Hurt to the Summer Program team, led by Glen Beitmen (1st – 3rd grades) and Pearce Augustenborg (4th – 6th grades). Sabrina and Marina will be interning during the summer to assist in the classroom. Both come from an experienced background with the Lee County Aquatic Systems Mosquito Education Program that included outreach programming to kindergarten and 5th grade students throughout Lee County. They are both FGCU students working toward a degree in Environmental Studies. We know they will enhance the experience for our summer program students.

ONLY Two Summer Camp Sessions are Still Open

Week 10:  August 4 – 8          “Edison Story Book Writing”

Week 11:  August 11 – 15        “Ford Story Book Writing”

     Cost: Edison Ford Members $200; non-members $230. For more information call the Edison Ford Education Department at 239-334-7419.


Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower Shops

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 12, 2014

May marked our first year anniversary at Bell Tower Shops. The Edison Ford Bell Tower Shoppe is located in the main fountain area. It’s a great place to see a variety of local art, Edison Ford memorabilia and one-of-a-kind gift items. The Edison Ford Bell Tower Shoppe is open during the same hours as the other shops at Bell Tower.

The shop is a beautiful combination of unique items and there is something for everyone. With lots of books and educational toys for youngsters, it is a wonderful resource for purchasing anything from gyroscopes to other scientific wonders.

The Edison Ford Shoppe features the work of several local artists who participate with Edison Ford throughout the year, teaching classes and demonstrating their work. Some of our favorites include the artist Marie Dyer, who presents a unique hands-on program painting silk scarves. Marie is frequently on hand to demonstrate her work. Call the Edison Ford Bell Tower Shoppe at 239-437-3754 to find out Marie’s schedule.

Other favorites include the work of nature photographer, Manfred Behr, whose dazzling orchids and south Florida landscapes are available in small sizes and even large canvasses. They make a great addition to any home or office and depict the “real” Florida.

Recipe books, local jams, jellies, sauces and honey are also a great find. Plus, they are made right here in Lee County.

Leoma mini canvas     Well-known artist, Leoma Lovegrove, another favorite at Edison Ford is a featured artist at the Edison Ford Bell Tower Shoppe. Her work includes everything from hand-painted coconut postcards that can be mailed to friends and families, and paintings on large or small canvasses and prints. The collection of miniature Lovegrove paintings, which are 3.5×2.5 and come with a tiny easel, are just perfect for a small home arrangement, as a gift, or a remembrance of a great visit.

Remember that Edison Ford Members always receive a 10% discount. Gift cards are available and there are always current newsletters, discount admission passes and other ways to stay informed about the main campus. The Edison Ford Shoppe includes both retail staff and a great group of Volunteers who keep the place humming.

Edison family and friends recipe book




















Edison Ford Featured in Romantic Homes Magazine

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 8, 2014

Roses and the history of the roses at Edison Ford are featured in the June issue of Romantic Homes Magazine. Thomas Edison and Henry Ford had many plant varieties on the property, but it was their wives who brought the beauty of the roses to the estates. Mina Edison and Clara Ford had rose gardens in their northern homes, but how to grow them at their winter retreat in Fort Myers?

Romantic homes magazine june 2014     Reporter and photographer, Melinda Graham has delightfully highlighted the women’s love of roses in a three-page article.

In an upcoming Summer issue of Victorian Homes Magazine, Edison Ford will also be prominently showcased.

Romantic homes magazine june 2014 excerpt



















Edison Ford Celebrates Father’s Day – June 15

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 4, 2014
Thomas, Mina, and Theodore Edison, 1909

Thomas, Mina, and Theodore Edison, 1909

FREE Admission for Dads on Father’s Day

  • June 15 – All Day

      Celebrate Father’s Day with FREE admission for Dads all day long. Dad’s free admission includes an audio tour of the historic homes, botanical gardens, Museum and Edison Research Lab.

Next door at The Marina at Edison Ford, enjoy fish printing with your own t-shirt or purchase one at the event (see below).



Gyotaku Fish Printing on Father’s Day

  • fish printing gyotaku fathers dayJune 15, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m., with Artist Marie Dyer and Sean Gilmore, Architect

      Gyotaku (Gyo = fish, taku = impression) was created centuries ago by the Japanese who used this as a way to make a record of fish. Gyotaku is original artwork with every fish print being a little different. Originally the print of the fish was created by coating the fish or inking a fish with hand ground ink called sumi and the paper used made with rice.

Today we can create a Gyotaku print using modern inks and paints and use paper, fabric or a t-shirt. A Gyotaku fish print would make an original and wonderful gift for Father’s Day!  Cost: $5 if you bring your own t-shirt; $10 if you buy a t-shirt.

The event takes place at The Marina at Edison Ford where you can also enjoy fresh, local seafood. All participants will receive a coupon for a FREE dessert or beverage of their choice, beginning at 11:00 a.m. at Pinchers.


Monthly Volunteer Meeting and Program – Open to the Public

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 1, 2014
  • June 10, 10:00 a.m. – South Florida Water Management Building  Lecture Hall

      Guest speaker Mary Kaye Stevens will bring an insider’s look at the early days of the islands of Southwest Florida. Mary Kaye has written several books that are filled with history and conversations with lots of local color.

Her books – Images of America: Pine Island, Fort Myers Beach and Lee County Islands serve as a community photo album, filled with entertaining accounts of the area from the descendants of early settlers and delightful vintage images.

Meetings are open to current Edison Ford volunteers, potential volunteers and the public.

books Mary Kaye Stevens june 2014 update


To learn more about becoming an Edison Ford volunteer visit our Web site.