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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for March, 2016

Edison Ford One Day Camp ~ Power the World

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 31, 2016

 April 4 – 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Power the World/Electricity

victorian light bulbStudents will explore the work of America’s greatest inventor Thomas Edison. Students will make a battery, work with LED’s and build a circuit. They will also learn about Michael Faraday and his experiments in electricity and magnetism.

The history of electricity is unfolded in this fast paced hands-on day camp. Cost: Edison Ford Members $40; non-members $50. To register or for more information contact Leeanne Criswell, Edison Ford Program Registrar at lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org or call 239-334-7419.

President’s Update ~ Chris Pendleton, President & CEO

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 30, 2016

president update     I honestly think that Thomas Edison bought his property on the “River of the Calusa” because he fell in love with the river, the climate, and his sense of adventure and discovery. I know that we all love the river today and want to learn more and to support programs to help the environment. Thomas Edison would champion this idea.

With that in mind, we stabilized our river frontage a few years ago with the help of a Lee County Beach and Shoreline Grant. We also added daily River Tour Cruises with the help of our partners at The Marina at Edison Ford, Pinchers and Pure Fort Myers. We are committed to continuing the development of our environmental programs.

The Edison Ford Trustees,  City and elected officials will turn a spade and break ground at 4:30 p.m. on April 13th to begin the construction of a pavilion in the Coconut Grove adjacent to the historic Edison Estate. The profile of the pavilion will mirror the historic Edison River Pavilions that were repeatedly washed away over the years by the storms that travel the river in the summer and winter months.

Our solution is to re-create it on land, rather than to try to take on the river or the storms in the future. Thankfully, the Florida Department of Emergency Services and FEMA agreed that we should not continue to try to rebuild but to seek an Alternative Project. So with the help of the City of Fort Myers, we will be finally implementing the construction.

river pavilion draftOur longtime architect, Wiley Parker, now retired from Parker Mudgett Smith created the original drawings. We are now working with Parker Mudgett Smith, AIA, Fort Myers, and our contractor, Casey Construction (who recently added the new Edison Ford Museum West Porch). Wiley is still involved with the project as a consultant now as we want his vision to be part of the final multi-purpose structure.

caloosahatchee yesterday and today sign     The river pavilion and waterfront in this area will also include new information panels provided by a grant from the South Florida Water Management District.

Honestly, we are racing the clock to finish by early July 2016, as it has been a long process from start to finish. But as Thomas Edison and Henry Ford would add … “it takes work and lots of trials to come up with an invention that works” … “and this will work to give us new programming and outdoor classroom space near our beloved Caloosahatchee.” That’s in my words but at their direction.

Daily Programs in the Museum

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 29, 2016

april 2016 daily

Ford Thunderbird Exhibition

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 28, 2016
  • April 2, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.thunderbird emblem

      Thunderbirds, or T-Birds as they are affectionately known, from all eras will be displayed on the historic riverside property of Henry Ford. Car owners will be on-hand to visit with guests and answer questions. Visitors can look forward to mingling with Henry & Clara Ford. There will be live music and Everglades BBQ will be available for the purchase of food and drinks. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the restoration of the Edison Ford antique car collection.

Admission: Edison Ford Members Free; non-members $20 Adults, $11 Children. Admission includes an audio tour of the homes, gardens, laboratory and museum. For more information contact Leeanne Criswell, Edison Ford Program Registrar at 239-334-7419 or lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org.

thunderbird black thunderbird aqua

Edison Ford Summer Camp 2016 Registration NOW Open

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 26, 2016

Registration is open for Edison Ford Inventor’s Summer Camp beginning June 13 through August 5, 2016 in science, art and nature. Camps are separated by grade levels, 1st – 3rd and 4th – 6th. There are also positions open for Camp Counselors, 7th – 12th grade.

Registration for the general public is now open. Sign up soon as camps fill up quickly. Summer Cost: Edison Ford Members $220; non-members $250, Camp Counselors $25. To register or for more information contact Leeanne Criswell, Edison Ford Program Registrar at lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org or 239-334-7419. Every week has brand new experiments and experiences with more equipment and materials.

June 13 – 17 – Video Game Design (FULL)summer camp flyer front 2016
Cost: Edison Ford Members $220, non-members $250
June 20 – 24 – Electricity, Circuits and Lighting Design (FULL)
Cost: Edison Ford Members $220, non-members $250
June 27 – July 1 – Robotics (FULL)
Cost: Edison Ford Members $220, non-members $250
July 5 – 8 – Space and Rockets (FULL grades 1-3)
Cost: Edison Ford Members $170; non-members $220
July 11 – 15 – Kitchen Chemistry (FULL)
Cost: Edison Ford Members $220; non-members $250
July 18 – 22 & July 25 – 29 – Movie Making Magic – Two week camp runs consecutively 
Cost: Edison Ford Members $400; non-members $450
August 1 – 5 – Smarts in Arts & Science (FULL grades 1-3)
Cost: Edison Ford Members $220; non-members $250

Families interested in an Edison Ford Scholarship can visit our website for an application. For more information contact Leeanne Criswell at 239-334-7419.

Weddings at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 24, 2016

Edison Ford offers a chance for a one-of-a-kind wedding in a historic picturesque setting with 90 year old trees as the backdrop. This unique location offers magnificent botanical photo opportunities for the wedding, reception or engagement.

Packages include a wedding ceremony, wedding rehearsal, engagement photo session, the opportunity to take photographs throughout the property on the wedding day, complimentary passes for wedding guests to tour Edison Ford, and a certified wedding planner to coordinate and supervise your special day, as well as support staff.

bride and goom in moonlight gardenMoonlight Garden

Mina’s Moonlight Garden provides an intimate, romantic setting filled with fragrant flowers circling a historic reflecting pond. The space is perfect for small wedding ceremonies.

Coconut Grove

The Coconut Grove is the beautiful lawn situated between the lily pond and the Caloosahatchee River. Dozens of coconut palm trees are scattered throughout this tropical lawn. This is also the site of the future pavilion that is scheduled for completion July 4, 2016.

Ford Riverside Lawn

Situated along the Caloosahatchee River, the Ford Riverside Lawn provides ample space for up to 300 guests and can accommodate a tent. This location offers breathtaking sunset views.

bride and groom with royal palmsRoyal Palm Allé

The path from Ford’s Winter Estate to the river is the Royal Palm Allé. It provides a natural wedding aisle with royal palms towering up to 75 feet high and a view of the Caloosahatchee River.

bride and groom with lofty figsMysore Fig Tree

The majestic Mysore Fig Tree on the Ford Estate has enormous above-ground, sprawling roots and an even larger canopy. The tree is a favorite backdrop for wedding ceremonies.

wedding party with queen's wreathThe Pergola

The Pergola connects Edison’s home to the guest home and is covered with a sprawling Queen’s Wreath that has dangling bouquets of lavender blooms. The Queen’s Wreath mimics the northern Wisteria and creates an amazing backdrop when in bloom. With historic homes, romantic gardens, and spectacular river views, Edison Ford has something to offer every bride. To schedule a site walk of the historic property and beautiful gardens, or check the availability of a wedding date, contact Cori Cramsey at ccramsey@edisonfordwinterestates.org or call 239-334-7419.


FREE Wi-Fi Now Available at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 23, 2016

wi-fiFree Wi-Fi is now available for our visitors at Edison Ford. The area covered is throughout the Garden Shoppe, around the Banyan Tree, Banyan Tree Refreshment Area and Information Booth in front of our Ticket Office. It will show up on wireless devices as EFWE Guest and no password is needed.

Naples Trolley Tour Package Starts This Month!

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 21, 2016

Naples Trolley toursEdison Ford is partnering with Naples Trolley Tours to offer a group tour package to Edison Ford from Naples.
The package will include a tour of Edison Ford, a Caloosahatchee River Cruise aboard the M/V Edison Explorer with Pure Fort Myers and lunch at Pinchers, where guests will have a view of Edison Ford and the waterfront. Naples Trolley will transport guests from Naples to Fort Myers and back.

This will be a great opportunity for Naples area residents, visitors and “seasonals” to see Edison Ford and spend the day in Fort Myers without doing the driving!

Contact Naples Trolley Tours for more information at 239-262-7300 or online.

FGCU Organic Chemistry Students Intern at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 20, 2016

Second year organic chemistry students from Florida Gulf Coast University are halfway through a semester-long internship at Edison Ford. Students will be applying their knowledge to help interpret the chemistry and science related to the Edison Botanic Research Laboratory and the search for an organic rubber a century ago.

organic chemistry internsSeen here during one of their orientation and training sessions, the students are acting as docents in the historic Edison Botanical Laboratory and in the brand NEW exhibit, “Edison & Rubber: A Scientific Quest.”

During their internship, students will apply their science knowledge and training to interpret the Laboratory, rubber research, and chemical processes to visitors. This internship is part of an expanding partnership between the Edison & Ford Winter Estates and FGCU, as well as an on-going effort to provide early job experience for students as a part of their college training. The project also benefits Edison Ford by adding the skills and enthusiasm of these students to enhance the visitor experience.

The students are under the direction of FGCU professors, Dr. John Riley and Dr. Arsalan Mirjafari and Edison Ford
Chief Curator, Mike Cosden.

March Great Book Picks in all our Edison Ford Stores

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On March 18, 2016

book girls think of everythingGirls Think of Everything – by Catherine Thimmesh
This collective biography describes some of the amazing innovations from women that changed our world. From the 10-year-old Becky Schroeder, who invented Glo-sheet paper, to Mary Dixon Kies, who received the first U.S. patent ever awarded to a woman, these stories are sure to inspire and educate. Recommended for ages 10 to 14.

book female pioneers of fort myersFemale Pioneers of Fort Myers – by Tom Hall and Robin Tuthill
The beautiful city of Fort Myers that we know today would not have been the same if it weren’t for many dedicated and hard-working women who helped develop and improve the town. This book details these female figures who played an integral role in the history of Fort Myers. To learn more, be sure to visit the NEW exhibit by the same name opening this month at Edison Ford.

book women in the evergladesWomen in the Everglades – by Marya Repko
In honor of March being Women’s History Month, be sure to read our latest local history book: Women in the Everglades. Just as women helped with the formation and growth of Fort Myers, there were many women who played a vital role in the history of the Everglades. If you are interested in women’s history or the history of early Florida, be sure to add this book to your library.

These books are available for purchase in our Museum Store or on-line.