Fort Myers is the seat of Lee County, Florida on the Southwestern Gulf Coast of the United States of America. It covers an area of forty square miles and has a population of almost seventy thousand people. The educational needs of the city is handled by a collection of fine secondary schools and institutions of higher learning. Secondary schools in Fort Myers include Canterbury, Dunbar High School, Fort Myers Senior High School, Cypress Lake High School and Bishop Verot High School. Colleges and universities in the city include Barry University, ITT Technical Institute, Nova Southeastern University, Edison State College, Southwest Florida College, Hodges University, Florida Gulf Coast University and Rasmussen College.
Fort Myers was built in the mid-nineteenth century as a military installation to defend the settlers in the area from the Seminole tribes. It was named after Colonel Abraham C. Myers, who was stationed in Florida for seven years. In 1858, the Seminole Indians surrendered and moved west. The fort was then subsequently abandoned. It would remain empty until 1863, when a small force of Union troops occuppied the fort during the Civil War. In 1865, a group of Confederate soldiers attacked the fort, but their attempt to take it was unsuccessful. After the war, the fort would once again become deserted. During the 1880’s, settlers moved into the area and the city gained a signifigant boost in population. In March of 1886, Fort Myers would become incorporated as a city. By the end of the nineteenth century, Fort Myers became known across the United States as a winter resort. It was during this time that the Royal Palm Hotel was built. In 1924, the Tamiami Trail Bridge was built across the Caloosahatchee River. This sparked an increase in the growth of the city, and as a result Fort Myers experienced its first real estate boom.
A popular attraction in the city of Fort Myers is Hammond Stadium. Hammond Stadium is a baseball field that is situated in the Lee County Sports Complex. It was erected in 1991 and can hold over seventy-five hundred people. It is where the Minnesota Twins have their Spring Training. The stadium was named after Bill Hammond, a Lee County Commissioner who managed to talk the Minnesota Twins from their previous Spring Training home, Orlando. The agreement between Fort Myers and the Minnesota Twins runs through 2011. Hammond Stadium is not the only Spring Training facility in the city. City of Palms Park hosts the Boston Red Sox and Terry Park Ballfield once was Spring Training home to the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, Philadelphia Athletics and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Another popular attraction in Fort Myers is the Edison and Ford Winter Estates. These estates contain a historical museum and a seventeen acre botanical garden on the adjacent sites of the winter homes of Henry Ford and Thomas Alva Edison. The site dates from the nineteenth century, when Thomas Edison visited Florida and purchased the property to build himself a home for the winter. It was finished in 1887 and called Seminole Lodge. It served as his winter retreat until his death in 1931. Henry Ford bought the adjacent property in 1916. In 1947, Mrs. Edison deeded the property to the city in memory of her husband. In 1988, the city bought the Henry Ford estate. The botanical gardens on this site contain more then a thousand different plant varieties taken from all over the globe. The collection includes African Sausage Trees, Parmentiera cereifera, Chorisia speciosa, Tabernaemontana corymbosa, Tibouchina semidecandra, Cattleya hybrid, Acalypha hispida, Artocarpus heterophyllus, Spathoglottis plicata, Ixora chinensis, Dendrobium, Tecoma stans, Hibiscus schizopetalus, Epidendrum ciliare, Bougainvillea glabra, Arenga pinnata, Ficus auriculata, Kigelia africana, Malvaviscus arboreus, Blighia sapida, Cordyline terminalis, Ficus saussureana, Clerodendrum speciosissimum, Ficus benghalensis, Thunbergia erecta, Bougainvillea spectabilis, Plumbago auriculata, Holmskioldia sanguinea, Calliandra haematocephala, Leea coccinea and Cananga odorata.
Other prominent attractions in the city of Fort Worth include Magic Wind Adventure Sailing, Lakes Regional Park, Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve, Fort Myers Historical Museum, Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium, Fort Myers Princess, Port Sanibel Marina, Manatee World, Centennial Park, Sun Harvest Citrus Tour, McGregor Boulevard, Southwest Florida Symphony, Seminole Gulf Railway’s Dinner Train Theater, Broadway Palms Dinner Theater, Edison Park, Thomas Edison Congregational Church, Burroughs Home, Fort Myers Country Club, Shell Factory & Nature Park, Bunche Beach, Lee Island, Harborside Event Center, Bonita Beach Park and Scuba Quest Pro Dive Centers. The city is also home to numerous restaurants and hotels. Restaurants in Fort Worth include Veranda Restaurant, Farmers Market Restaurant, Oasis Restaurant, Iguana Mia Mexican Restaurant, Joe’s Crab Shack, Red Lobster and Mr Mee’s Sushi & Fine Asian Dining. Hotels in the city include La Quinta Inn, Clarion Hotel, Ramada Fort Myers, Fort Myers Hotel, Hotel Indigo, Sanibel Harbour Resort and Spa and the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
The city has also been home to many famous people and celebrities. People who have come from Fort Myers or who have lived there at some point in time include Thomas Edison, Diamond Dallas Page, Peggy Schoolcraft, Henry Ford, Patty Berg, Beverly DiRenzo, Amanda Dunbar, Kimberly Page, Gerard Damiano, Denise Masino, Harvey Firestone, Jason Bartlett, Stacy Carter, Mario Henderson, Deion Sanders, Cliff Williams, Earnest Graham, Bill Davey, Julio Zuleta, Terrence Cody, Terri Kimball, Bert Blyleven, Mike Greenwell, Sara Hildebrand, Ivy Box, Anthony Henry, Randy Hand, Elissa Steamer, Mindy McCready, Vonzell Solomon, Tommy Watkins, Jevon Kearse, Seth Petruzelli, Nolan Henke and Walt Wesley.