When Henry Ford and his wife, Clara, moved out of the city to escape the constant attention generated by the runaway success of the Model T, they went to Dearborn and bought 1,300 acres just two miles from the farm where Henry grew up. They called their retreat Fair Lane for the area in Ireland where Ford’s ancesters had lived. They built a 31,000-square-foot home from Marblehead limestone in a modified early English style. Its interior included a 4,000-book library, an auditorium, and a suite of rooms reserved for Thomas Edison, a close friend. Among the other buildings at Fair Lane were a hydro-electric powerhouse with a private laboratory, a green house, staff cottages, and a working farm built to scale for the grandchildren. Landscape architect Jens Jensen designed most of the estate’s gardens. A Save America’s Treasures grant repaired the faulty steam-heating system, which had caused damage to the house and its collections.
Photo: Henry Ford Estate