Dig Deep into Fort Myers’ History

By: TLP's Partners

Did you know that Fort Myers has several landmarks of historical significance? Let this part of Southwest Florida transport you to another time. Dig deep into the past at one (or several!) of these historically significant sites.

Edison and Ford Estates Laboratory, a historical site in Fort Myers

Edison and Ford Winter Estates

Go on an adventure through time at the seasonal homes of two of America’s most prolific inventors: Thomas Edison and Henry Ford. The Edison and Ford Winter Estates have 20 acres of tropical gardens, a museum full of historical artifacts, a research laboratory, and the pair’s neighboring homes. Peruse their most prominent inventions while you learn about their lives.

Burroughs Home & Gardens

Peek into the past at Burroughs Home & Gardens, a stately 20th century mansion built among the trees. Set along the banks of the Caloosahatchee River in downtown Fort Myers, this Georgian Revival remains authentic to its time and filled with antique furnishings. Take a docent-led tour or explore the house and lush gardens on your own.

Koreshan State Park in Fort Myers

Koreshan State Park

This historical park was once home to a 19th-century religious settlement, and the community structures are still standing today. Koreshan State Park is a nationally registered historic district where visitors can explore life as it was for the pioneering group. Discover the printing press and admire the 1885 Steinway piano in Art Hall. Koreshan State Park also has a picnic area and kayaks for rent so you can explore the Estero River.

Mound House: Archaeological & Historic Site

Head to Fort Myers Beach to learn about the Calusa, an Indigenous group that originally inhabited the area as long ago as 5,000 B.C. Mound House was built upon an ancient shell mound that today is used to tell the stories of those who inhabited the land throughout history. Visit the museum inside the 1921 historical structure to view a variety of hands-on exhibits or join one of the many programs for a fully immersive cultural and environmental experience. You can also take a guided kayak tour of the nearby estuary.

Calusa Heritage Trail

Visit the Randell Research Center on Pine Island to dive even deeper into the life of the Calusa on the Calusa Heritage Trail. Wander through the shell mounds, observation platforms and the boardwalk to learn about the ecology and history of Southwest Florida as it relates to this indigenous group. Note that some mounds and boardwalks are still in the process of reopening. Daily tours are self-guided, though guided tours can be requested for groups of four or more from December to mid-April.

Williams Academy Black History Museum

The Williams Academy was built in 1912 as the first government-funded school for Black students in Lee County. Today the Lee County Black History Society operates the Williams Academy Black History Museum inside the old school. The building has been carefully restored and serves to educate visitors on the history and culture of the Black community in Lee County.

Downtown Fort Myers Historic district
Photo By Brian Tietz

Historic River District

Hugging the banks of the Caloosahatchee River, Fort Myers’ historic River District is a bustling downtown area full of art and culture. Of particular interest are the newly installed murals along the river basin that depict the area’s history. These 57 artworks allow visitors to explore local history at their own pace through the eyes of the 39 local artists who created them. Be sure to check out the free Otocast mobile app for an enriched audio visual experience.

There’s a #MyFortMyers story for everyone. Start planning at to make your own #MyFortMyers memories.

On the Road

It’s Time to Explore the Sunshine State

The Sunshine State’s miles of pristine beaches, luxury accommodations, and centuries-old history make it a dream destination for any traveler.

Dining Out

12 Scenic Spots to Dine with a View

The South is filled with spectacular skylines and scenic shorelines—Why not sit back with a glass of wine or plate of food and enjoy the view?

On the Road

Escape to Florida

A dream vacation awaits in the Sunshine State.

trending content

More From Partnered

Leave a Reply

Be the first to comment.