Before Edison bought the property in Ft. Myers it was but a cattle trail.
Working on the lightbulb Edison realized that the carbonized cotton thread he used as a filament in its early stages was not going to be sufficient due to the speed of which the light would die out. Edison sent people to search the earth for different types of bamboo. One day while fishing in southwest Florida, he was told that Giant Green Bamboo grew down the river from where he was standing. Edison explored the bamboo and purchased 13 Acres of river front (Caloosahatchee River) land for $2750 in 1885. Two labs were built along with a few houses, one of which would later be occupied by Henry Ford, a good friend of Thomas Edison.
One reason Edison fell in love with the property was due to the fertile ground and its ability to grow so many types of plants which intrested him for research purposes.