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Celebrate Mina Edison’s 155th birthday at Edison and Ford Winter Estates

By Staff | Jul 3, 2020

On July 6, Edison and Ford Winter Estates will celebrate Mina Edison’s 155th birthday. The celebration will start at 11 a.m. with a presentation about Mina on the Museum West Porch. This large outdoor space will be monitored for social distancing and all visitors are encouraged to wear a mask. Visitors can also take a selfie with the Mina Edison statue in the Garden Shoppe area.

The entire site, including the 15,000-square-foot air-conditioned Museum and historic Botanic Research Laboratory on more than 20 acres of botanical gardens is open daily, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visitors can see the historic homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, caretaker’s houses, guest house, study, swimming pool complex and the award-winning Moonlight Garden.

Guided tours will be offered at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. and will be limited to groups of 10 people to ensure everyone can adequately practice social distancing. Self-guided tours are also available, and allow visitors to use an app or call the phone number for the narration. Printed maps of the site are also available. Guests will learn about Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, while strolling more than 20 acres. The gardens offer large shade trees, a scenic river view and plants and trees from around the world.

Mina Edison deeded the Edison estate to the City of Fort Myers in 1947 with the goal of promoting the legacy of her husband, Thomas. She wanted people to continue to learn and be inspired by all that he accomplished. While Mr. Edison gets most of the fame, July 6 is a day to honor Mina.

As a member of the National Audubon Society and the Chautauqua Bird, Tree and Garden Club, she was a dedicated conservationist and avid bird watcher. She had a lifelong passion for birds and worked to protect their habitats. In 1931, she encouraged the City Council to work toward a Fort Myers “fragrant with flowers from every home and adequate care for birds so that they would be loath to leave.”

Today, there are many birds that enjoy the park-like setting at the Estates. Over the years, numerous species of ducks, hawks, owls and song birds have been spotted. There is even a pair of Brown Thrashers that have been nesting near the museum for several years. Visitors are encouraged to look out for birds while touring the site, and remember Mina on her birthday.

Admission tickets for self-guided tours are as follows: adults, $25; teens (13-19), $20; children (6-12), $15; children 5 years old and younger will be admitted free. Guided tours: adults, $30; teens, $25; children, $18. Members get in free. Visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets online at EdisonFord.org.

Following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, all staff are wearing protective masks, and surfaces are cleaned and sanitized daily. Visitors will be required to wear masks during guided tours and inside the Museum and Lab; masks are recommended for self-guided tours. All visitors should practice social distancing throughout the site. Plastic shields have been installed at the ticket counters and hand sanitizer stations are placed throughout the site. For additional information, visit EdisonFord.org or follow on Facebook @EdisonFordFL.