For the past two decades, the Uncommon Friends Foundation has worked to preserve the historic Burroughs Home in Fort Myers, Florida. The nonprofit derives its name from the writings of James D. Newton, a 20th-century Florida entrepreneur, who enjoyed a lifelong friendship with such visionaries as Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Charles Lindbergh. Newton referred to these noteworthy pioneers as his “Uncommon Friends” in his personal writings, and he eventually authored a book under the same title. Letters from these men comprise the James Newton Archives at the Burroughs Home.
Located at 2505 First Street and seated on nearly three acres, the historic home served as the original residence of the prominent Burroughs family and the site of a number of lavish garden parties. The home contains many of the original photographs and furnishings owned by the family, and its grounds encompass a gazebo, grotto, reflecting pool, fountain, and tennis courts. Additionally, its famous tropical garden is home to a lush array of palm trees, elephant ears, and bougainvillea, as well as several other exotic plant species.
The Uncommon Friends Foundation facilitates tours of this historic residence every Wednesday and Thursday at 11 am. Although tours do not require reservations, groups larger than four may schedule additional days and times. Guests may also contact the Burroughs Home & Gardens in advance to make reservations for lunch on the home’s elegant dance porch.