Fort Myers Then and Now
Fort Myers, Florida is known as the "City of Palms" due to its abundance of tall, graceful palm trees. This destination resort has been a winter refuge for the rich and famous for generations. Indeed, two of the city's most famous attractions are Seminole Lodge, the winter home of Thomas Edison, and The Mangoes, one of Henry Ford's residences in the colder months. Travel in those days could be quite a trial, but now, tourists headed for their vacation homes in Fort Myers can arrive by plane, conveniently landing at Southwest Florida International Airport, which is a short distance to the southeast in the city of South Fort Myers.
History buffs will find much to explore in Fort Myers. Originally constructed as a military installation to fight the native Seminole Indians, the fort was left empty for years until the Union Army needed it during the Civil War. An 1865 battle took place here, between the northern army and three units from the Florida militia along with Confederate forces. This event has gone down in history as the Battle of Fort Myers.
The construction of the Royal Palm Hotel in 1898 marked the city's beginning as a resort destination, providing a warm climate during the winter months. Today, spring is also an excellent time to visit the city, especially if you are a baseball fan; both the Boston Red Sox and the Minnesota Twins use this city as a headquarters for their spring training efforts.