Lee County (pop. 618,754) is south of Charlotte County, on the Gulf of Mexico. It is one of 12 Lee counties, and one of the many named for Gen. Robert E. Lee (1807-1870).
The county seat of Lee County is the city of Fort Myers (pop. 62,431). Fort Myers was the winter home of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford in the early 1900s.
The adjacent Edison and Ford Winter Estates are now open to the public, with home tours, museum, and botanical gardens.
The Shell Factory (“the largest collection in North America of taxidermy animals”) has been an attraction in Fort Myers since 1938.
The Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins have their spring training homes in Fort Myers – about six miles apart.
Florida Gulf Coast University opened in Fort Myers in 1997. It now has about 14,000 students
Deion Sanders, former NFL and MLB player, was born in Fort Myers and played baseball, football, and basketball at North Fort Myers High School. He was all-state in all three sports.
A giant head of Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) can be found outside the Pyramid Village in Fort Myers.
The largest city in Lee County is Cape Coral (pop. 154,305). Founded in 1957, Cape Coral claims to have the most canals (about 400 miles) of any city in the world.
The nearby city of Bonita Springs is the home of the Everglades Wonder Gardens, which date from 1936.
The town of Estero (pop. 18,176) was established by the followers of Cyrus Teed, who believed that humans live on the inside of a hollow earth, and that the stars and planets are all inside it.
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