“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Fort Myers, Florida Historical Markers

The seawall provides a resilient division between the river and Coconut Grove. image, Touch for more information
By Sandra Hughes, October 10, 2015
The seawall provides a resilient division between the river and Coconut Grove.
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — “Why, this will be the finest thing that ever happened to lovely Fort Myers.”-Thomas Edison
“Beyond doubt you have the finest place in the country, and if you build a sea wall inside a few years this section will not be large enough to hold the tourists that will be scrambling to get here every winter. Yes, sir, by all means build . . . — Map (db m90286) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — A Slice of Slough
The Six Mile Cypress Slough has a diverse array of plants that occur in recognizable zones. Ecological conditions such as ground elevations, soil types and water depths determine the vegetation character of these communities. As you continue to . . . — Map (db m106520) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Alderman HouseNational Register of Historic Places
This property has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior — Map (db m112411) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Banyan Tree (Ficus benghalensis)Planted as a sapling circa 1927 — Native to South Asia —
Edison, Ford, and Firestone formed the Edison Botanic Research Corporation in 1927 to find a fast-growing, natural source of rubber that could be grown in the United States. The banyan tree was one of more than 17,000 plant specimens that were . . . — Map (db m89867) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Boating with Wildlife
Kayak clinics and guided trips available. Please check flyers available at the visitor center for more information or visit our website at Be a real friend to our wildlife: Stay a stranger Paddling provides you with very . . . — Map (db m106693)
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Buckingham and Page Army Air Fields1942 - 1945
This monument is dedicated to honor and recognize those who served — Map (db m90870) HM WM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Butterflies of Lee County
What are Butterflies Butterflies and Moths are insects that belong to the order Lepidoptera. The Greek word for scale (lepid) and wing (ptera) is joined to mean scale-wing. Their body four wings, and six legs are almost entirely covered with . . . — Map (db m106681) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Clara Ford’s Michigan Rose Garden
Clara Bryant Ford had a passion for roses and grew over 350 varieties and 10,000 plants at the family’s estate, Fair Lane, in Dearborn, Michigan. Mrs. Ford’s favorites were tea roses in shades of yellow and white. Did you know Clara Ford hired . . . — Map (db m89877) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Edison Caretaker’s House
Some of the Seminole Lodge Staff Queenie Adams · J.F. Anderson · Mr. Bassler · Mr. & Mrs. Black · Ellen Carr · Michael & Tina Doyle · James Evans · Harvie Heitman · William Hibble · Henry Horsey · Noah Keen · George Kinze · Fred Ott · Sidney . . . — Map (db m90273) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Edison Caretaker's Yard
Edison created a large domestic support area for the Estate on the east side of McGregor Boulevard. Storage buildings, equipment, a truck garden, and even a horse were located there. On the west side, retaining and expanding the Caretaker’s House on . . . — Map (db m90275) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Edison Estate Restoration and Rebirth
The Edison Estate riverside buildings were originally built in 1886 and remodeled slightly throughout the years. The sprawling Edison Seminole Lodge is made up of the Family Home, connecting pergola and Guest House. The Edison Moonlight Garden . . . — Map (db m89873) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Edison Family Home Seminole Lodge
Edison’s plan of a “Floridian bower in the lowlands of the peninsular Eden, with that charmed zone of beauty” was realized as he completed the Seminole Lodge Estate. By the fall of 1885 designs were completed and materials for . . . — Map (db m89863) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Edison Guest House
Entry in Seminole Lodge Guest Book —Harrie Monkhouse, Guest March 21-April 3, 1916 Have you ever dreamed a dream of Heaven? Where the Garden of Eden grows? Well, come down with me to the Florida Coast Where the Caloosahatchee . . . — Map (db m90284) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Edison Heritage GardenIn Memory of Thomas and Mina Edison
This garden area has been created to reflect the Edison original plan for the Estate landscape. It commemorates the legacy of Thomas and Mina Edison and other groups and individuals involved in the cultural landscape of the Edison & Ford Winter . . . — Map (db m89866) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Edison Park School
Historic Edison Park School, a public elementary school, is one of the oldest in Southwest Florida. It has played a prominent role in the cultural as well as the educational life of this community. Started in 1926 and opened on March 30, 1927, it . . . — Map (db m101017) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Edison Pier
The pier was originally called “the wharf.” It was used as a working area to off-load boats carrying materials and contents for the homes and laboratory, beginning in November 1885. After the Estate buildings were complete, the pier’s . . . — Map (db m90285) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Edison Pool Complex
“Madeleine, Marie, Theodore and the two maids have gone bathing in the hotel pool—so everybody is happy," wrote Mina to family, April 7, 1909. By the 1911 winter season the family and staff no longer had to travel downtown to the . . . — Map (db m90287) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Edison’s “Florida Paradise”
Famous inventor and businessman Thomas Edison visited Forty Myers in early 1885. He planned to find a warm retreat to escape the cold winters of his home base in West Orange, New Jersey. Along with friends, he made his way to Fort Myers from the . . . — Map (db m89878) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Edison’s Water Systems
When Edison created plans for his Florida retreat in 1885, water was a major concern to supplement the shallow well at the existing Caretaker’s House. This may have been dug for the Summerlin family before Edison purchased the property. By 1887 . . . — Map (db m90289) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Edison's Study and Moonlight Garden, 1928Original site of Edison’s 1886 Laboratory
In his initial plans for the property, Edison included a laboratory for his Florida estate. Through he anticipated leisure time, he also needed a place to pursue inventing. Of the many experiments he worked on in this laboratory, one focused on a . . . — Map (db m90282) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Explore Southwest Florida Naturally!
Nature has been good to Lee County, one of the last frontiers to be settled in southwest Florida. Nestled between the Everglades and the Gulf of Mexico, the county includes a variety of interconnected ecosystems. Careful planning has preserved much . . . — Map (db m105731) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Fire Control in Edison’s Time... and Today
In 1909, a major project was undertaken to install a fire control system at the Edison estate. Water for the system was supplied from a well on the east side of the property (across McGregor Boulevard) and directed to three large tanks located on . . . — Map (db m90283) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — F-280 — First Street, Fort Myers
Fort Myers, like many South Florida communities, developed during the last half of the 19th century. First Street (once called Front Street) became the heart of the new town, In 1866, Manuel A, Gonzalez and Joseph Vivas took up residence at the . . . — Map (db m131368) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Freshwater Wetlands Habitat
In Southwest Florida, it is often necessary to have storm water retention areas on developed properties. At Manatee Park, this water retention area was planted with wetland vegetation to provide wildlife habitat, improve aesthetics and help filter . . . — Map (db m106677)
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Great Blue Heron Pavilion
The Great Blue Heron (Ardea hernias)is a wetland bird that lives in the Slough year round. It is quite adaptable and can live in habitats like marshes, streams and lakes. The heron’s range is from Florida to the coastline of Alaska. As a top . . . — Map (db m106512) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Henry FordJuly 30, 1863 - April 7, 1947
In 1914, Thomas Edison invited Henry Ford, wife Clara, and son Edsel to the Edison Florida estate. In 1916, the Fords purchased their Fort Myers estate, The Mangoes. The Ford family visited regularly with good friends and neighbors, Thomas and Mina . . . — Map (db m89883) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Henry Ford's Florida Estate
Thomas Edison and Henry Ford first met in 1896 at a New York conference of the Edison Illuminating Companies. Ford worked as a mechanic at the Detroit Edison plant. The two were not reacquainted again until 1910, when Edison responded to Ford’s . . . — Map (db m89885) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Inside the Ford Home
The Henry Ford Home was built in 1911 and is an example of the “American Bungalow” architectural style. From the exterior one sees the characteristics of cedar-shingle siding, wide covered porches, gabled metal roof, and dormers with . . . — Map (db m89879) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Locomotive 143
The Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia built #143 for the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad in 1905. #143 was used to switch freight cars in rail yards around Charleston, South Carolina. The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad was the first railroad to . . . — Map (db m90843) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Manatee Island
Manatee Island, in the Caloosahatchee River, is hereby donated to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to inspire a renewed interest in land dedicated to the formation of the Caloosahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, established July 1, 1920, by . . . — Map (db m106680) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Manatee Young
Manatee Mating Female manatees reach sexual maturity at age 3 but will not breed successfully until 6 to 10 years of age. Males are sexually mature at age of two. Manatee mating herds are made up of sexually mature males and female. Within . . . — Map (db m106685) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Mangroves - Trees of the Sea
Mangroves are tropical trees that grow along the coastline in mixed salt and freshwater, or estuarine environments. They live in wet soil, are highly salt tolerant and flourish in areas periodically submerged by tides. Florida is home to three . . . — Map (db m108027) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Mina Miller Edison1865 - 1947
Mina Miller married Thomas Alva Edison in 1886. This was the same year that the two began to create their winter estate in Fort Myers. During their many years in Fort Myers, the Edison enjoyed creating areas for botanical research and family . . . — Map (db m89865) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Motor Generator
Motor Generator The Hertner Electric Company Cleveland, Ohio Serial No. 2528 15 hp 220v 30 60 Hz 37A 1750 RPM 400 C Continuous Duty Throughout the history of Seminole Lodge various equipment was used to supply or produce . . . — Map (db m90288) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Munching Manatees
Manatees spend six to eight hours each day feeding. Manatees feed on more than 60 species of aquatic or semi-aquatic plants including sea grasses, mangrove leaves and water hyacinths. Manatee burn a great deal of energy to maintain their body . . . — Map (db m108028) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Orchid Lane and Friendship Walk
Orchid Lane developed as a natural path from the mango trees that formed a line down both the Edison and Ford properties. Orchids are air plants, or epiphytes, which do not require soil to grow. They receive nutrients from the air, rainwater and . . . — Map (db m89875) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Other Visitors to Manatee Park
Manatees aren’t the only animals that visit Manatee Park. A wide range of native Florida wildlife can be seen at the park. Some are just passing through, while others are full-time residents. What other wildlife do you see? Black vulture . . . — Map (db m106676) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — People and Plants
The story of people and plants provides a continuous thread from the Calusa to early Estero Island settlers, and to the present and future generations. With all the great advances in science and technology, people still rely on natural resources to . . . — Map (db m90988) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Pine Flatwoods Habitat
This high and dry habitat provides food and shelter for many species of animals among the shaded canopy, fallen logs and rich decaying leaf litter. Pine flatwoods depend on prescribed fire to keep the canopy relative open, the understory in check, . . . — Map (db m106686) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Plants and Progress
It is hard to imagine now, but when the earliest settlers arrived on the Mound the surrounding habitat was very different. Native plants dominated the landscape. Years would pass before the Estero Island settlers could profit from agriculture . . . — Map (db m90985) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Relatives and Relationships
The manatee’s closest living relative is the elephant. They have a number of features in common. Manatees have a flexible prehensile lip that functions in a similar way to the trunk of an elephant. It grabs vegetation and places it in the animal’s . . . — Map (db m106684) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Responsible Fishing
How do I know if I can keep a fish? Florida has more anglers than any other state. To protect our fisheries the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) manage game fish using closed seasons, size limits and bag limits. Check . . . — Map (db m106691) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Scrub Oak Habitat
The scrub is a rare and unique habitat where ground cover is sparse due to the dry, low nutrient environment. Plants and animals living in the scrub have adapted to the harsh conditions. Gopher tortoise need sandy, dry land areas to create their . . . — Map (db m106687) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve
The Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve is over 3,500 acres of wetland ecosystem, which measures 11 miles in length and averages 1/3 mile in width. It is home to a diversity of plants and animals, a number of which are endangered. The preserve is an . . . — Map (db m106518) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Slough Interpretive Trail
Wetlands like the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve were once considered to be a nuisance to “progress”. Many were drained and filled for agricultural and developmental purposes. People have begun to realize that wetlands are valuable . . . — Map (db m106516) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — The Anatomy of a Manatee
Manatees are large, brownish-gray, seal-shaped marine mammals. Adult manatees can grow up to 13 feet and weigh up to 3,000 pounds. Female manatees are usually larger than males.

Skeleton not fat A majority of a manatee’s body weight . . . — Map (db m106678) HM

Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — The Dragon And His TailThe Only Flying Liberator in the World Today — Consolidated B-24J Liberator —
Specifications: Wingspan: 110 feet Length: 67 ft. 7 5/8 inches Height: 18 feet Max Weight 65,000 pounds Empty Weight 36,500 pounds Bomb Load 8,000 to 10,000 pounds average 16 500 pound bombs 4 2000 pound bombs Armament Ten 50 . . . — Map (db m92801) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — The Florida ManateeAnswering your questions
Why do manatees visit Manatee Park? Biologists believe the historic winter range of the manatee was centered in southern Florida with small groups spending the winter at a few natural springs in northern Florida. The construction of power . . . — Map (db m106672) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — The Manatee-Human Comparison
Though a manatee’s appearance is far from what you might see in your bathroom mirror, humans and manatee are more closely related than you might think.

Breathe Air Manatees have lungs just like humans. When active, they surface every . . . — Map (db m106679) HM

Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — The Moonlight Garden
The Moonlight Garden was designed in 1928 by Ellen Biddle Shipman, one of the first female landscape architects in America. She specialized in enclosed gardens, full of drift beds where flowers of beauty bloomed in cycles throughout the year. . . . — Map (db m90277) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — The South Florida EcosystemA century and a half of change…
South Florida Restoration Project: Working to save an ecosystem at risk… At one time, water moved through the Everglades in vast, shallow flow, which led Marjory Stoneman Douglas to call the Everglades: “River of Grass.” . . . — Map (db m106673) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — The Twilight Zone
As the sun sets, many animals prepare to sleep for the night…and others are just waking up. Theses two “shifts” help predators avoid competing with each other for food and space. While we are at home sleeping, night time at the . . . — Map (db m106523)
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — The U. S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceWorking for Wildlife
Protecting, conserving, and enhancing our nation’s priceless fish and wildlife resources are the primary responsibilities of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Service oversees marine mammal protection, wildlife law enforcement , migratory . . . — Map (db m106674) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Thomas Alva EdisonFebruary 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931
Named the 20th century “Man of the Millennium” by LIFE Magazine, Thomas Alva Edison is best known for perfecting a commercially viable incandescent light bulb. However, Edison was also a newspaper printer, telegrapher, inventor, . . . — Map (db m89864) HM
Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Tracking Manatees
Discovering travel patterns and habits of manatees helps researchers understand them and helps State and Federal Agencies protect them. There are several different ways researchers track manatee travels.

Photo Identification . . . — Map (db m106682) HM

Florida (Lee County), Fort Myers — Why do Manatees Come to Manatee Park ?
Leaves changing color and cooler weather let humans know when seasons are changing. In Florida the seasonal changes are more subtle, but recognized by the Florida manatee. Manatees are usually found in shallow, slow-moving water. They are . . . — Map (db m106675) HM

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