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Fort Myers is the county seat and commercial center of Lee County, Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 62,298 and in 2016 an estimate of 77,146. 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. The city is named after Colonel Abraham Myers. The geographic statistical area is serviced by Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), located southeast of the city.HistoryFort 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.During the American Civil War, Confederate blockade runners and cattle ranchers called Fort Myers home. These settlers prospered through trading with Seminole Indians and Union Soldiers.Settlement and foundingThe Fort Myers community was founded by Captain Manuel A. Gonzalez on February 21, 1866. Captain Gonzalez was familiar with the area as a result of his years of service delivering mail and supplies to the Union Army at the Fort during the Seminole Indian Wars and Civil War. When the U.S. Government abandoned the Fort following the Civil War, Gonzalez traveled by sailing vessel from Key West, Florida to found the community. Three weeks later, Joseph Vivas and his wife, Christianna Stirrup Vivas, arrived with Gonzalez's wife, Evalina Gonzalez, and daughter, Mary Gonzalez.Fort Myers is in Southwest Gulf Coast. Use our United States trip planner to plan your trip to Fort Myers and other destinations in United States.
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