The natural beauty and mild climate of Fort Myers makes it a very appealing winter retreat for those looking to escape the harsh northern winters. It’s not uncommon for visitors to set down roots in the area once they realize how much Fort Myers has to offer. Henry Ford was one of the earliest winter residents of Fort Myers. And his love of the area has left a lasting impression.
The Mangoes: Henry Ford’s winter home is a breathtaking estate that boasts over 20 acres of botanical gardens, nine historic buildings including the Edison Ford Museum which contains an impressive collection of inventions, artifacts and special exhibit galleries. Visitors can choose from a variety of tours to tailor the experience to their unique interests.
The Mangroves has been fully restored to reflect how it would have looked back in the 1920s. It is open to the public and has become one of the most popular visitor destinations in the area.
In the early part of the 20th century, after forming a friendship with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford began visiting Fort Myers where Edison already had a winter home. In 1916, Ford purchased the property next to the Seminole Lodge for $20,000. Ford’s Craftsman bungalow style estate, known as “The Mangoes,” included lush grounds with citrus and was situated on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River.
Ford vacationed at The Mangoes for several winters, often around Edison’s February 11 birthday celebration. Ford enjoyed fishing, sightseeing, dancing, and entertaining during his time in Fort Myers. After Edison’s death in 1931, Ford discontinued his visits and sold the home in 1945.
After serving as a private residence for more than 40 years, the Mangoes was sold to the city of Fort Myers, restored to its 1920s appearance and opened to the public in 1990.
Visiting the Mangoes
Visitors looking to step back in time and see what life was like in the 1920s will enjoy this historically accurate landmark. The estate is open daily from 9am-5:30pm and visitors can tour 20 acres of historical buildings, historic gardens, homes and museums. Guests can also tour the Edison Ford Museum which has hundreds of inventions, artifacts and special exhibits.
The Mangroves also plays host to a variety of special events throughout the year. From kids activities to lectures to “Ask the Curator” series, there is always something interesting going on.
To embrace the legacy of Henry Ford, an accomplished scientist and entrepreneur who once called The Mangroves home, education plays a significant role at the estate. There is a wealth of educational activities that combine science, history and the arts. Choose from a variety of classes and summer camps that are offered throughout the site.
Be sure to include this amazing excursion on your next visit to Fort Myers. And don’t forget to book a rental home from Sun Palace Vacations. Many of our homes are fully furnished, have a functional kitchen, and come with fresh linens. Vacationing on any budget is a breeze with a wide variety of vacation homes available. If you’re vacationing on a budget, consider going bare bones or split the cost with friends so that you’ll have extra money for beach fun. On the other hand, if you wish to go for a luxury rental, you’ll enjoy some wonderful amenities like hot tubs, gourmet kitchens, and private pools. In either case, you’ll see that Fort Myers Beach really is a great place to enjoy your vacation this summer and there are plenty of easy ways to reach the city.
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