This folder contains correspondence and other documents relating to Edison's winter home, Seminole Lodge, and to community interests at Fort Myers, Florida. The items for 1917 pertain primarily to property management at Seminole Lodge, Edison's winter home. Included is a comprehensive 21-page report accompanied by three pages of drawings, prepared by Edison's personal business secretary Richard W. Kellow, who visited the property in June 1917. The report contains detailed comments about the houses, grounds, equipment, fruits and other crops, revenue, and expenses. Kellow lauded the management abilities of Edison's local agent Harvie E. Heitman, criticized the character and performance of caretaker Hans Zeeman, and recommended the appointment of a new caretaker under the direct supervision of Heitman.
Also included are letters concerning the dismissal of Zeeman and the hiring of Noah Keene as his replacement; a summary by Heitman of monthly maintenance expenses; and an inquiry from Heitman about renting Edison's house to the widow of sportsman Alfred G. Vanderbilt, who died in the sinking of the Lusitania. In addition, there is correspondence concerning crops and animals, dock repairs, and the building of a sea wall in front of Edison's property.
Approximately 20 percent of the documents have been selected. The unselected material includes detailed lists of routine monthly expenses, as well as routine correspondence, handled by Kellow, on finding a new caretaker and other management issues. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.