Historic Markers Across Florida

Orchid Lane and Friendship Walk

Marker ID:  
Location: 2350 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers, FL
County: Lee
Coordinates: N 26° 38.067    W 081° 52.804
  26.63445    -81.88006666
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


Orchid Lane and Friendship Walk

Orchid Lane developed as a natural path from the mango trees that formed a line down both the Edison and Ford properties. Orchids are air plants, or epiphytes, which do not require soil to grow. They receive nutrients from the air, rainwater and decomposing matter, such as leaves and dead insects that get caught in the roots or leaves. Orchids find mango trees perfect hosts on which to grow. The Edisons received gifts of and purchased orchids from around the world and placed them in the trees at the Fort Myers Estate because the climate was perfectly suited for this flowering plant. The path along McGregor Boulevard eventually became known as Orchid Lane.

Today orchids like the Phaelanopsis, Dendrobium, and Cattlyea can be seen throughout the gardens, as well as along Orchard Lane. The Estates is a Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species (CITES) designated organization by the U.S. Department of the Interior and receives plants from throughout the world.

The stones along this pathway create the Friendship garden feature at Seminole Lodge. Each stone was a gift to the Edisons from friends, family and local community members and leaders. This path started in 1928 with a stone from Hamilton Holt, the president of Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. There are also stones in memory of Mina's mother and father, Mary and Lewis Miller and the Valinda Circle, a local group promoting the ideals of the Chautauqua movement, which advocated culture, entertainment and education in small towns. Mina's father was one of the founders of Chautauqua, and Valinda was her mother's maiden name.

A picture of this marker can be found on HMDB.org


More information:
Edison & Ford Winter Estates
Thomas Edison - Thomas Edison
Wikipedia - Thomas Edison
History.com - Henry Ford
Wikipedia - Henry Ford