Living here in beautiful Fort Myers, you know it's a place of sun, fun and easy access to beaches and seafood. But our city has some unique features you may not have heard of. Check out the “411” on all things Fort Myers:
1. Royal Palms Royal Treatment
Our majestic Royal Palm trees were first brought to the city by Thomas Edison, our most famous winter resident. He imported them from Cuba, helping to create the city's nickname of "the City of Palms." Now each year, city officials plant 90 more of these beautiful trees.
2. Shells, Shells, and More Shells
Fort Myers is a shell hunter's paradise. The Atlantic currents, the Gulf's tepid waters and our undersea geography all work together to bring boat-loads of beautiful shells to Fort Myers’ shores. Many of the shells come from the Caribbean and are deposited without breaking because of the wide continental shelf. If you want to learn more about this uniquely Florida hobby, head over to Sanibel and visit the Shell Museum.
3. Love is in the Name
Our city's name comes from a love story and a gift from a father. According to several sources, the name Fort Myers came from the man originally tasked with overseeing the fort built along the Caloosahatchee River. The daughter of General David Twiggs fell in love with a staff officer, Col. Abraham C. Myers and the two were soon betrothed. As a gift for their engagement, General Twiggs named the area Fort Myers.
4. Battle Over Cattle
Fort Myers was the site of a small Civil War battle on February 20, 1865, essentially fought over a herd of cows. Union troops were known to raid cattle farmers’ fields to keep Confederate troops from getting the meat, so the "Cow Cavalry" was created to protect the herds. On this auspicious day, the Union troops from Fort Myers clashed with this group until the Confederates withdrew. One soldier lost his life, however, and there is no record of what happened to the cows.
5. Baseball Blessings
A couple of professional baseball teams hold Spring Training in Fort Myers. Grapefruit League games are a great way to see your favorite major leaguers and maybe catch a glimpse of an up and coming star. Currently the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins call Fort Myers home in the spring, and for 64 years we’ve hosted various teams.
So, next time you admire the palm trees on McGregor Boulevard, pick up a shell on the beach, or eat a hamburger at Spring Training, you’ll have a new appreciation for how cool our city is. What quirky, cool things do you know about our city? Tell us in the comments.