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Fort Myers

Fort Myers Today

Known for its beaches, fishing and shopping, Fort Myers is a family-friendly vacation spot for many northerners. Fort Myers Beach is one of the largest beaches in Florida with a multitude of food and beverage options right on the water.

You'll also have the opportunity to learn about two of the nations most brilliant inventors at the gorgeous Thomas Edison and Henry Ford Winter Estates. Both estates serve as museums that honor their founders and remind us all of the obstacles they overcame and what they accomplished.

If you're in the mood to watch America's Pastime, Fort Myers is also home to two beautiful minor league and spring training baseball facilities.

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The History Of Fort Myers

In the early 1700s, the Lee Island coastline first appeared with SOME accuracy in British maps. During the last half of the 1700s, coastal areas of Lee County were a base of operations for bands of pirates raiding the cargo ships sailing to and from the port of New Orleans.

Fort Myers was built along the Caloosahatchee River as one of the first bases of operations during the Seminole Indian Wars. Fort Myers was named in honor of Colonel Abraham C. Myers, the son-in-law of the commander of Fort Brooke in Tampa.

By 1885, Fort Myers had a booming population of 349, the second largest town on Florida's Gulf Coast south of Cedar Key. That same year Thomas Alva Edison was cruising Florida's west coast and stopped to visit the village.

Captivated with what he saw, Edison built his home and laboratory, Seminole Lodge, on the banks of the Caloosatchee River. He subsequently became Fort Myers' most famous resident and a strong force in its growth and development.

As Edison's love with Fort Myers grew, he began spending more time at Seminole Lodge, and was often joined there by his friend, Henry Ford.

The two illustrious inventors would sometimes go off on a camping trip or a drive to Estero. Ford met Edison at a meeting in New York and, with Edison's encouragement, quit his job and turned his full attention to his dream of building a gasoline driven automobile.

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Fort Myers