Volume XVI, Issue 2                                                                            2nd Quarter 2008

The Edsel & Eleanor Ford House

Reminiscing by Hugo S. Higbie...Founder of Higbie Maxon Agney, Inc.


One of Grosse Pointe’s great estates is that built on the shore of Lake St. Clair by the Edsel Fords in the 1920’s. 

Edsel and Eleanor decided they needed a suitable home to bring up their four children;  they needed space and size for their growing family and lifestyle.  They traveled through England and studied various examples of authentic Cotswold estates.  They were a fabulously romantic couple and the word “ostentation” was not in their vocabulary.  The entire house and grounds, designed by Albert Kahn with much personal input from Edsel, showed the couple’s stylish restraint.  

When Edsel died in 1943, and in the long years following, after the children were grown and gone, Mrs. Ford carried on the same quiet, but still social, way of life.  We were honored to be among her guests on many festive occasions.  She loved giving tasteful parties for her granddaughters. 

Eleanor was saddened to see the Horace Dodge house, Rose Terrace, fall to the wrecking ball in the early 1970’s.  While the houses were quite different, they were similar in size, age and lakeside       location, and needed huge upkeep.  However, Anna Dodge had no control over any funds to bequeath for it’s preservation.  Eleanor loved her    English country house, therefore, she set up the Trust to save the property from such a sad demise, and endow it for the public, all of us, to enjoy into the future.

The Ford House offers many upcoming events... Behind the Scenes Architecture/Staff Life Tours, Ground Exploration Tours, Wildflower Walks, Bird Walks, Spring Tea & Tour, Mother’s Day Brunch & Tour, Mutt March (bring your canine companion to this fundraising walk), Eyes on Design (See more than 200 vehicles on the grounds during this annual car show).

For more activities and a detailed history of this fabulous Grosse Pointe jewel, visit their website at www.FordHouse.org..v 

Source:  H. S. Higbie and V. Colwell




Email me at: beth@bethpressler.com

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