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"The Mangoes"

Built-in 1911 by New York entrepreneur, Robert Smith, “The Mangoes” (Henry Ford’s winter home) was purchased by Henry Ford in 1916 – two years aer his first trip to Fort Myers. He purchased the 3,000-square-foot Crasman Bungalow for $20,000.

Henry T. Ford 

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Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) was an American industrialist, business magnate, and founder of the Ford Motor Company 

"In 1896, Ford attended a meeting of Edison executives, where he was introduced to Thomas Edison. Edison approved of Ford's automobile experimentation, Encouraged by Edison, Ford designed and built a second vehicle, completing it in 1898. Backed by the capital of Detroit lumber baron William H. Murphy, Ford resigned from the Edison Company and founded the Detroit Automobile Company on August 5, 1899"

Ford first met Edison at a convention held in 1896 by the Edison Illuminating Company, for whom Ford worked as an engineer. However, he did not make his first trip to Fort Myers until 1914, when Edison invited him to come along on a camping trip into the Florida Everglades. Calling themselves “the Vagabonds,” Ford and Edison, along with Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs, would make many more camping trips over the next decade and a half, building bonds of friendship that are memorialized today by another D.J. Wilkins sculpture, Uncommon Friends.

Ford returned to The Mangoes only sporadically after Thomas Edison’s death in 1931. He sold his estate to Thomas and Gladys Biggar in 1945 for $20,000. The same price that Ford paid for the estate in 1916.  After he purchased Henry Ford’s winter estate he decided to preserve it in tribute to the “great industrialist and greater humanitarian. The Ford Automotive Display and an outbuilding to  which you will find antique vehicles from the Edison Ford collection on display;

 

The Biggar family made it their family home for more than 40 years.

In 1988, the City of Fort Myers purchased Henry Ford’s estate for $1.5 million, restored it to its historic appearance, and opened it to the public in 1989. The property is now managed by Thomas Edison and Henry Ford Winter Estates, Inc., a local non-profit organization.

Thomas McFarlane Biggar

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Thomas McFarlane Biggar was born on July 26, 1892, in Polmont, Stirlingshire, Scotland, to John Wilson  Biggar and Jessie Campbell McRae.

 

John was born on May 28, 1849, in Pollakshaws, Eastwood, Renfrew, Scotland.

Jessie was born on August 17, 1857, in Hull of Galloway, Scotland.

Thomas married Gladys Evelyn Jacobs on August 11, 1930, at age 38 in Oxford, Fort Meyers, Florida.

Gladys was born on June 2, 1900, in Ohio, United States.

They had 4 children.

Thomas lived in 1935, at Fort Myers, Florida 33902, USA.

He lived in 1940, in 907 Osceola Ave, Ft Myers, Precinct 10, Lee, Florida, USA.

Thomas passed away on October 10 1979, at age 87 in Fort Meyers, Florida, USA.

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