Lined with majestic Royal Palms, McGregor Blvd is a good reason why the city of Fort Myers is know as “The City of Palms”. The original planting of palms were brought from Cuba and planted with the help of Thomas Edison and stretched from his winter home located on McGregor Blvd to downtown Fort Myers. Today, an estimated 1800 palms line McGregor Blvd from downtown Fort Myers to Punta Rassa.
Originally known as Riverside Ave, a shell sand and dirt road, McGregor Blvd was originally used to drive cattle from downtown Fort Myers to Punta Rassa when the area was a bustling cattle community. Later the name was change to McGregor Blvd after Ambrose McGregor, the president of Standard Oil and neighbor of Thomas Edison, in 1912 at the request of his wife Tootie.
Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone as well as Ambrose McGregor all owned winter homes along McGregor Blvd. Today, the Edison and Ford Winter Estates are a busy local attraction where one can tour the estate, museum and laboratory. Also, one of the world’s largest Banyan trees, originally planted by Thomas Edison, still grows on the estate.
McGregor Blvd Historic Neighborhoods
Some of Fort Myers’ most desirable and historic neighborhoods line McGregor Blvd. Edison Park directly across from the Edison estate, McGregor Estates, and Coconut Grove are good examples of “old Florida” style neighborhoods with a charm that is hard to find in other areas.