Fort Myers, Florida

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Fort Myers, Florida
City
City of Fort Myers
Nickname(s): "City of Palms"
Location in Lee County, Florida
Location in Lee County, Florida
U.S. Census Bureau map showing city limits
U.S. Census Bureau map showing city limits
Coordinates: 26°37′N 81°50′W / 26.617°N 81.833°W / 26.617; -81.833Coordinates: 26°37′N 81°50′W / 26.617°N 81.833°W / 26.617; -81.833[1]
Country United States
State Florida
County Lee
Founded March 24, 1886
Government
 • Type Council–manager
 • Mayor Randy Henderson, Jr.
Area[1]
 • Total 48.98 sq mi (126.9 km2)
 • Land 39.96 sq mi (103.5 km2)
 • Water 9.02 sq mi (23.4 km2)
Elevation[2] 10 ft (3 m)
Population (2012)[3]
 • Total 65,725
 • Density 2,065/sq mi (797/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code(s) 33900-33999
Area code(s) 239
FIPS code 12-24125[3]
GNIS feature ID 0282700[2]
Website www.cityftmyers.com

Fort Myers is the county seat[4] and commercial center of Lee County, Florida.

Fort Myers is a gateway to the Southwest Florida region and a major tourist destination within Florida. The winter homes of Thomas Edison (Seminole Lodge) and Henry Ford (The Mangoes) are a primary tourist attraction in the region. [5]

The city is serviced by Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), located southeast of the city.

History[edit]

Architecture of Downtown Fort Myers.

Fort Myers was one of the first forts built along the Caloosahatchee River as a base of operations against the Seminole Indians during the American Indian Wars. During the Seminole Wars, Fort Myers was a strategic location for its visibility and access to Atlantic waterways.

After the Wars, Confederate blockade runners and cattle ranchers called Fort Myers home. These settlers prospered through trading with Seminole Indians and Union Soldiers. [6]

The Settlement and Founding of Fort Myers[edit]

On February 21, 1866, Manuel A. Gonzalez and his 5 year old son, Manuel S. Gonzalez, became the first permanent settlers of Fort Myers after arriving from Key West, Florida. [7] Three weeks later, Joseph Vivas and his wife, Christianna Stirrup Vivas, arrived with Gonzalez's wife, Evalina Gonzalez, and daughter, Mary Gonzalez. [8]

Gonzales had shipped supplies and carried mail during the war and settled his family near the abandoned Fort Myers to begin the town's first trading post. Gonzalez traded tobacco, beads, and gunpowder, and sold otter, bobcat, and gator hide, to the neighboring Seminole Indians. [9]

In 1881, the wealthy industrialist Hamilton Disston of Philadelphia came to the Caloosahatchee Valley to dredge and drain the everglades for development. Diston connected Lake Okeechobee with the Caloosahatchee River, which allowed Steamboats to run from the Gulf of Mexico to Lake Okeechobee and up the Kissimmee River. [10]

On August 12, 1885, the small town of Fort Myers - all 349 residents - was incorporated.

In 1898, Fort Myers became a nationally known winter resort destination with the building of the Royal Palm Hotel.[11]

On May 10, 1904, access to the Fort Myers area was greatly improved with the opening of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, connecting Punta Gorda to Fort Myers. This route provided Lee County both passenger and freight railroad service.[12]

In 1924, with the construction of the Tamiami Trail Bridge, the city's population steadily grew. In the decade following the bridge's construction, the city experienced its first real estate boom, which created several new housing subdivisions throughout the city.

Geography and climate[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 40.4 square miles (105 km2). 31.8 square miles (82 km2) of it is land, and 8.6 square miles (22 km2) of it (21.25%) is water.

Fort Myers has a warm climate year-round that is close to the boundary between tropical and subtropical climates.

Fort Myers has short, warm winters, and long, hot, humid summers, with most of the year's rain falling from June to September.

The temperature rarely rises to 100 °F (38 °C) or lowers to the freezing mark.[13] At 89, Fort Myers leads the nation in the number of days annually in which a thunderstorm is close enough for thunder to be heard.[14]

The monthly daily average temperature ranges from 64.2 °F (17.9 °C) in January to 83.4 °F (28.6 °C) in August, with the annual mean being 75.1 °F (23.9 °C).

Records range from 24 °F (−4 °C) on December 29, 1894 up to 103 °F (39 °C) on June 16–17, 1981.[13]

Climate data for Fort Myers, Florida (Page Field), 1981–2010 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 90
(32)
92
(33)
93
(34)
96
(36)
99
(37)
103
(39)
101
(38)
100
(38)
98
(37)
95
(35)
95
(35)
90
(32)
103
(39)
Average high °F (°C) 74.7
(23.7)
77.2
(25.1)
80.4
(26.9)
84.6
(29.2)
89.4
(31.9)
91.5
(33.1)
91.9
(33.3)
91.8
(33.2)
90.5
(32.5)
86.7
(30.4)
81.3
(27.4)
76.6
(24.8)
84.7
(29.3)
Average low °F (°C) 53.7
(12.1)
55.9
(13.3)
59.4
(15.2)
63.1
(17.3)
68.7
(20.4)
73.5
(23.1)
74.5
(23.6)
74.9
(23.8)
74.3
(23.5)
69.1
(20.6)
62.0
(16.7)
56.4
(13.6)
65.5
(18.6)
Record low °F (°C) 27
(−3)
27
(−3)
33
(1)
39
(4)
50
(10)
58
(14)
66
(19)
65
(18)
63
(17)
45
(7)
34
(1)
24
(−4)
24
(−4)
Rainfall inches (mm) 1.89
(48)
2.13
(54.1)
2.84
(72.1)
2.02
(51.3)
2.72
(69.1)
10.28
(261.1)
9.14
(232.2)
10.21
(259.3)
8.55
(217.2)
2.67
(67.8)
1.92
(48.8)
1.69
(42.9)
56.06
(1,423.9)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.01 in) 5.5 5.2 6.2 4.2 6.8 16.0 17.6 17.9 15.4 6.8 4.4 4.5 110.5
Source: NOAA (extremes 1892–present)[13]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 575
1900 943 64.0%
1910 2,463 161.2%
1920 3,678 49.3%
1930 9,082 146.9%
1940 10,604 16.8%
1950 13,195 24.4%
1960 22,523 70.7%
1970 27,351 21.4%
1980 36,638 34.0%
1990 45,206 23.4%
2000 48,208 6.6%
2010 62,298 29.2%
source:[15]
Fort Myers Demographics
2010 Census Fort Myers Lee County Florida
Total population 62,298 618,754 18,801,310
Population, percent change, 2000 to 2010 +29.2% +40.3% +17.6%
Population density 1,559.1/sq mi 788.7/sq mi 350.6/sq mi
(Non-Hispanic White or Caucasian) 30.6% 53.9% 57.9%
Black or African-American 39.3% 18.3% 16.0%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 32.0% 20.4% 22.5%
Asian 1.6% 1.4% 2.4%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.6% 0.4% 0.4%
Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian 0.1% 0.1% 0.1%
Two or more races (Multiracial) 2.8% 2.1% 2.5%
Some Other Race 8.0% 4.7% 3.6%

The population of Fort Myers was 62,298 during the 2010 census.[16] Between the 2000 census and 2010 census, the city's population increased at a rate of 29.2 percent.

Fort Myers is one of two cities that make up the Cape Coral-Fort Myers Metropolitan Statistical Area. The 2010 population for the metropolitan area was 618,754.[16]

The population of Lee County, Florida and the Cape Coral-Fort Myers Metropolitan Statistical Area has grown 40.3 percent since the census in 2000, much faster than the average growth rate of 17.6 percent experienced throughout the State of Florida.


Government[edit]

Fort Myers is governed by a six-member city council where each member is elected from a single member ward. The city practices a council–manager form of government where the city council is responsible for the legislative functions of the municipality. The city council is responsible for establishing policy, passing local ordinances, voting appropriations, and developing an overall vision for the city.

The mayor is elected in a citywide vote. The current mayor of Fort Myers is Randy Henderson, Jr.

Policing of Fort Myers is performed by the Fort Myers Police Department.

Education[edit]

Secondary schools[edit]

Bishop Verot Catholic High School

See: Lee County School District for other public schools in the area.

Secondary schools in the city include:

Higher education[edit]

Institutions of higher learning in the city include:

Sports[edit]

City of Palms Classic[edit]

The City of Palms Classic is an annual high school basketball tournament held in Fort Myers, Florida, since 1973. Several of its alumni have made it to the NBA.

Points of interest[edit]

Edison Theater - Historic Downtown Fort Myers
Murphy-Burroughs House

Notable people[edit]

Fort Myers has experienced rapid population growth.

Present[edit]

Past[edit]

The Mangoes: Henry Ford's Winter home

Public Transportation[edit]

Buses run by LeeTran provide local service in Fort Myers. [53]

Fort Myers in popular culture[edit]

In film[edit]

  • The abandoned city scene with the Edison Theatre, from the movie Day of the Dead (1985) was filmed in downtown Fort Myers.[54]
  • Some courthouse and other "city" scenes in Just Cause (1995) were filmed in downtown Ft. Myers and the beach scenes were filmed in Sanibel, Florida.[55]
  • Part of the independent film Trans (1999) was filmed in Fort Myers, Florida.[56]

In print[edit]

  • Fort Myers is part of the setting of Red Grass River: A Legend (1998), an award-winning novel by James Carlos Blake[57]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ http://www.swflvisitor.com/attractions.php
  6. ^ http://www.fortmyers-online.com/history.htm
  7. ^ http://www.news-press.com/article/20120605/NEWS0110/306050003/Exclusive-History-uncovered-along-Fort-Myers-riverfront
  8. ^ http://www.news-press.com/article/20090729/SS23/907290395/Influential-local-Capt-Manuel-Gonzalez
  9. ^ http://www.fortmyers-online.com/history.htm
  10. ^ http://www.fortmyers-online.com/history.htm
  11. ^ Photo
  12. ^ Turner, Gregg M., "A Journey Into Florida Railroad History", University Press of Florida, Library of Congress card number 2007050375, ISBN 978-0-8130-3233-7, page 156.
  13. ^ a b c "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2012-02-13. 
  14. ^ "Weather Variety - Annual Days With Thunderstorms". Weatherpages.com. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  15. ^ "Census Of Population And Housing". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2014-09-19. 
  16. ^ a b "American FactFinder2". Census.gov. Retrieved Nov 13, 2014. 
  17. ^ 2007 Scores. Dunbar is also Home to the First Ever Microsoft Certified High School in the world..
  18. ^ America's Top Public High Schools | Newsweek Best High Schools | Newsweek.com
  19. ^ "Keiser University- Ft. Myers". Keiser University. Retrieved 3 April 2010. 
  20. ^ "NSU Campus info". Nova Southeastern University. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  21. ^ "Rasmussen College- Ft. Myers campus". Retrieved 25 June 2010. 
  22. ^ "Welcome to Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium". Calusanature.com. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  23. ^ "Broadcasters | twinsbaseball.com: Team". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  24. ^ Nobles, Charlie (November 27, 2001). "COLLEGES; Hurricanes' Buchanon Might Be the Best of the Best". The New York Times. Retrieved April 2, 2010. 
  25. ^ a b Lawler, Jerry (2002). It's Good to be the King...Sometimes. World Wrestling Entertainment. ISBN 978-0-7434-5768-2. 
  26. ^ "'Bama's mountain of a nosetackle: 365-pound Terrence Cody". CNN. September 25, 2008. Retrieved April 2, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Casey Coleman Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Pro Profiles - Bill Davey Pro Bodybuilding Profile". Bodybuilders.com. 1966-07-20. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  29. ^ Peek into inner circle shows Noel Devine's no deviant, August 28, 2006
  30. ^ By Mark Aumann, NASCAR.COM (2006-05-17). "Ex-ballplayer Greenwell to make Truck debut - May 17, 2006". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  31. ^ "Mario Henderson". Nfl.com. 1984-10-29. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  32. ^ "Nolan Henke - Golf - CBSSports.com PGA". Cbssports.com. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  33. ^ Hildebrand Hired as First Diving Coach at Florida Gulf Coast, August 31, 2006
  34. ^ "Smesko announces signings of transfers » Naples Daily News". Naplesnews.com. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  35. ^ Adam Johnson MLB RHP Stats & P4x4 Boggerpress Champion!
  36. ^ "Freak Of Nature". CNN. August 28, 2000. Retrieved April 2, 2010. 
  37. ^ "Terri Kimball - Terri Kimball Nude - Terri Kimball Pics". Playboy.com. 2009-01-27. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  38. ^ "Derek Lamely". PGA Tour. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  39. ^ LPGA Tour profile for Terry-Jo Myers
  40. ^ Wetzel, Dan. "Final curtain for the Kimbo show - UFC - Yahoo! Sports". Sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  41. ^ "Warner Music Canada - Plies". Warnermusic.ca. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  42. ^ "ESPN.com: Where Sanders goes, teams win". Espn.go.com. 1967-08-09. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  43. ^ "Peggy Schoolcraft IFBB Pro Bodybuilder". Bodybuilding.com. October 9, 2002. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  44. ^ "2001 Ms. International results". Getbig.com. March 2, 2001. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  45. ^ "Vonzell Solomon". American Idol. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  46. ^ In-Spires
  47. ^ By Lisa Winston / MLB.com (2010-02-15). "Article | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Web.minorleaguebaseball.com. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  48. ^ Jermy Ware Jeremy Ware NFL & AFL Football Statistics
  49. ^ "Walt Wesley NBA & ABA Statistics". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  50. ^ "Florida: Edison Pageant of Light (Local Legacies: Celebrating Community Roots - Library of Congress)". Lcweb2.loc.gov. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  51. ^ "Lee". Sao.cjis20.org. Retrieved 2010-07-29. 
  52. ^ "Singer Mindy McCready taken into custody". USA Today. July 26, 2007. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  53. ^ http://www.rideleetran.com/routeSchedules.htm
  54. ^ Stetson, Nancy (September 7, 2011). "STARRING SW FLORIDA". Florida Weekly. Retrieved 25 July 2014. 
  55. ^ Production Credits - Fort Myers & Sanibel
  56. ^ Filmed in Fort Myers - Film Fort Myers
  57. ^ James Carlos Blake (1998). Red Grass River: A Legend. New York: Avon. 

External links[edit]