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Weekly News   

May 31, 2024

The Caloosahatchee Bridge (US 41/Cleveland Ave.) will be closed for approximately
10 weeks starting May 31. The bridge closure does not affect Edison and Ford Win-
ter Estates, which will be open regular hours during the bridge work. Visitors com-
ing from North Fort Myers can take the Edison Bridge or Interstate 75 to cross the
Caloosahatchee into the City of Fort Myers.  

Upcoming Events

Farmers Market
Every Friday in June and July 
9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Our Farmers Market is just around the corner to help you gear up for your favorite summer activities!
Choose from fresh produce and other items, get something to eat and drink, listen to music, and stroll
through the wildflower and Bromeliad gardens. Plus, there will be fruit trees, herbs and flowering
plants available for sale in the Garden Shoppe. 

The Farmers Market is a free event with free parking (does not include admission to the museum, lab-
oratory or riverside of the property).    Blood Drive

June 5, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Take a moment out of your day to make a difference in someone’s life. Your donation
through the Lee Health Blood Center will stay in Lee County and benefit local residents
and visitors in need. All donors will receive a limited-edition travel tumbler and wellness
checkup, including blood pressure, temperature, iron count and cholesterol screening.
For more information, call 239-343-2333. 
    Digital Discussion

Step into History Digital Discussion – Electrifying Fort Myers
June 12, 10:30 a.m. 

Be told the tale of how Fort Myers was illuminated and jolted into modernity
by Albertus A. Gardner. This presentation will be led by Lead Historian, Tim.
This is a free virtual lecture. Click here to register online.   

Open Summer Camp Sessions

Fundamental Physics Summer Camp 
June 10-14, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Spots open for Grades 3-5

Break down the building blocks of basic items! From the sound waves of
the phonograph to the mystery of light in a bulb, this camp explores the
wild world of physics. Campers will learn how to amaze as they conduct
experiments and learn about the world around us. Advance registration
is required. Click here to register online. 

Edison Ford members: $225; non-members: $250 

Space and Rockets Summer Camp 
July 1-3, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Spots open for Grades 3-5

Take off on an exploration of the universe! This camp is part space and
part rocket science. Campers will learn about their place in the universe
as they design and launch their own water-powered rocket. Experience
is not required but the laws of motion are! Advance registration is re-
quired. Click here to register online. 

Edison Ford members: $135; non-members: $150

Mechanical Marvels Summer Camp 
July 22-26, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Spots open for grades 3-5

Generate all sorts of advancements with the features of devices! Campers
learn about simple machines, mechanical advantages, and gear systems in
the fast-moving camp! Advance registration is required. Click to here to
register online. 

Edison Ford members: $225; non-members: $250 

Wired Wizardry Summer Camp
June 17-21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Spots open for grades 3-5

Become your own electrical wizard! In this crash course on electronics, campers
learn about watts, amps, volts and the power of circuits. The week concludes with
campers designing a light system in their own miniature model house.

Advance registration is required. Click here to register online. 
Edison Ford members: $225; non-members: $250  


Reciprocal Deal with the Imagine Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida

Cross all these cool places off your bucket list with a Membership to Edison and Ford Winter Estates!
During the month of June, the Imagine Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida is offering free admission
for Edison Ford members (depending on membership level). Student or individual: 1 adult, Dual: 2
adults, Family and Above: 2 adults and 4 children under 18. Members must present a valid member-
ship card and photo I.D. This offer applies to regular daily admission only and excludes special tours,
events and additional discounts. The museum features beautiful contemporary glass art from around
the world.

This is in addition to the other reciprocals.   Become a MEMBER and get unlimited free visits, dis-
counts on purchases in the Garden Shoppe, retail stores, special events and adult education classes!  
Join today!    

Ongoing Programs

Piano Performance
Takes place every Wednesday 
1 p.m.
Share in traditions of the past with Curatorial Registrar, Chet, as he performs on Mina
Edison’s 1932 George Steck piano in the guest house. Included with admission. –

Step into History Presentations 
Tuesdays and Thursdays
10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Each week, Edison Ford Historians present an in-depth look at a topic related
to our site. This program is held in the 15,000-square-foot museum. Included
with admission.

Yoga by the River 
Mondays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m.
No session June 12, 24 and 26

Class will be held in the River Pavilion (weather permitting). All skill levels are
welcome. This class is taught by Bonnie D’Angelo, a certified yoga instructor. 

Edison Ford members: $15; non-members: $20 per class. Tickets may be purchased
online or at the ticket counter. Bring a yoga mat, water, and towel. Admission to the
site is not included.   

Special Tours

Automotive Tour 
Mondays at 10:30 a.m.

Get the chronology of the trials and tribulations Henry Ford faced over the years
developing and creating a booming automobile industry and walk through the
unique features of the historic cars in our collection. Reservations are not required. 

Edison Ford members: $15; non-members: $40 
Inside-the-Homes Tour 
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.

Get a close peek at all the historical objects and artifacts that adorn the Edison and
Ford homes. No reservations are required for the Tuesday tour; call our member-
ship department at 239-334-7419 to reserve spots on the Thursday tour. 

Edison Ford members: 50% one time; adults: $50   

Help restore our beautiful gardens. Donate today!  

What’s Blooming


The Lychee Tree, litchi chinensis, is full of fruit that resemble a strawberry! This
tree is native to China and was introduced to Florida in the 1930s. From late Dec-
ember to April, this garden gem will produce small, green flowers that form along
the tips of its branches. After the flowers are pollinated by bees and various species
of flies, clusters of small round fruits will begin to emerge that turn strawberry red
when they are ripe. The fruit’s edible white pulp is rich with flavor. The fruit can be
used as an ingredient in drinks, desserts, and main dishes. Visitors can find this
unique tree by the Ford House and the Edison’s study! The fruit is available for pur-
chase in the Garden Shoppe.

Bay Rum Tree 

The Bay Rum Tree, Pimenta racemosa, is filled with delicate, little flowers that spread
an airy aura in the gardens! It is native to the islands of the Caribbean and can reach
heights of up to 40 feet tall. This tree produces essential oils that are distilled from its
leaves and used in perfumes. The cologne, Bay Rum, was made in the early 20th century
by distilling the oil from this tree using rum and water, which is where the name of the
plant originated from. The leaves can also be used to make tea. In the late spring, the tree
will produce bouquets of small white flowers. Visitors can find this tree on the street side
of the Edison Guest House.     

On This Day in History

Madeleine Edison’s  Birthday 

Affectionately nicknamed “Toots” by her relatives, Madeleine Edison Sloane was born
on this day in 1888 and was the only daughter of Thomas and Mina Edison. She attend-
ed Miss Henning’s Kindergarten school in Glenmont, New Jersey, and completed her
early education at the Oak Place School. In 1906, she began her studies at Bryn Mawr,
a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania. After her sophomore year, Madeleine concluded
her college career and returned to Glenmont.

She married John Eyre Sloane and they had four sons, who were Thomas Edison’s
only grandchildren. Today, there are no direct descendants of Thomas Edison carry-
ing his family name.

During World War II, Madeleine donated much of her time to the New Jersey Red
Cross blood drives, serving as the wartime chapter chairmen. Shortly after the war
ended, Madeleine and her mother, Mina, focused on preserving Edison’s legacy and
bringing his story to life. Both of them decided to open the house he was born in, lo-
cated in Milan, Ohio, to the public as a memorial and museum. She served as the
museum’s first director.

In 1950, she was the first woman elected to the Board of Directors for the Western
Union Telegraph Company. She was also a trustee of the Newark Museum and a
member of the board for the salvation Army in West Orange, New Jersey.  

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