Friday, January 6, 2012

Christmas Vacation - Edison Estates

On Friday morning we got up, met Daniel and Dawn's crew for breakfast and the hotel and then headed out to do some sightseeing. We went to Edison Mall first in Fort Myers - the guys needed to stop at the shoe store.

Then after a little touring around our old neighborhood in Tice again per Daniel's request (he helped us out quite a bit down there with construction know-how in enlarging the choir room and later the youth room). Time for a little lunch, and our last touristy stop was at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates for a tour. Mommy was the only one who had been here before and not since she was probably Parker's age. When we lived in Fort Myers, we had church members who remembered being at Tice Elementary School when Edison would come and talk to them about science and his inventions.

The first thing you see when you get out in parking lot is this enormous set of banyan trees. Actually though it's one large continuous connected tree covering almost 1 acre!

After paying for our admission and sitting through a short orientation, we got our audio sets for the tour and headed across McGregor Boulevard to the actual homes.

Following the tour, Edison's Seminole Lodge was first.

Henry Ford at one time worked for Edison Light in Michigan and Edison was Ford's mentor who encouraged him to keep working on his automobile idea. Frequent visitors to the Edison's home, the Fords were eventually able to buy the place next door, called the Mangoes.

Following the tour, the next stop was in Edison's backyard to see the pier. It originally extended 1500 feet into the Caloosahatchee. This was where all the materials for building the home came in by barge. At one time there was a bathhouse and seating area with electric lights out on this pier.

The Edison's pool complex.

Edison's little office built for him when he was in his 80s by the Fords.

The caretaker's cottage.

Edison's moonlit garden - outside and inside.

Some of the solar panels on the property. Edison was a firm believer in developing this technology. The gardens were beautiful with all kinds of different plants from all around the world that Edison often used in experiments. They even had orchids growing on palm trees.

Mommy with the statue of Mina Edison in the garden outside the museum.

The museum was full of all kinds of wonders from Edison's inventions and endeavours. One statistic stood out to us - Edison was the only American to submit a patent every year for sixty-five years straight. The number of things he was involved in - creating from scratch or helping to perfect - was mind boggling.

More solar panels helping to power the museum.

Inside Edison's main laboratory. This is undergoing refurbishment right now and some of the items had been taken out and put in storage.

After we finished our touring we stopped by the banyan tree for some more pictures before heading back to the hotel.

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