Friday, 1 November 2013

The House at Gaukler Point - Sepia Saturday

Robert Goelet House at Newport, Rhode Island
The house we visited this summer was at Gaukler Point on the shores of Lake St Clair in Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan.  It belonged to Mr and Mrs Edsel Ford.

Mr & Mrs Edsel Ford
Edsel Ford was the only son of Henry Ford and President of the Ford Motor Company from 1919.

Edsel Bryan Ford, 1893-1943
Their house at Gaukler was designed by Albert Khan.

The house itself is quite impressive as you can see from these photos taken in 2011.

Rear of Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
The house is open to the public; tours begin inside the house at the door in the right of the picture above.

Side view of Edsel & Eleanor Ford House
Unfortunately photography is not permitted inside the house so I had to restrict my shots to the rest of the estate. The pool looked inviting even although it was not too warm at the time.

Swimming Pool
A small waterfall at the far runs into Lake St Clair. If you go to the far end and stand on the bank (in that clear spot at the left) you can see across the Lake to the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club.

Enlarged this is what you can see on the horizon.

Grosse Pointe Yacht Club
The separate pool house has its own squash court. A picture board reinforces the families recreational ties.

Their children even had miniature cars to race around the grounds; these cars are on show along with other models inside the garage.

Racing Cars

The Ford's daughter Josephine had a playhouse (2/3 scale) built for her in the grounds - a gift from her grandmother.

Josephine's Play House
Original furniture remains on show inside including a fully furnished bedroom.

Inside Josephine's Playhouse
As you would expect from a motor magnet some of the family's cars are are show, including these.

1934 Brewster Town Car
1920s Lincoln
However the picture I like best show Edsel with his cars near the house.

Edsel Ford
I hope I have given you a flavour of what you can see at Edsel & Eleanor Ford's House. You may find out more at If you go there make sure you check the video links at the bottom of that page.

Meanwhile to see houses that have inspired others cross over to Sepia-Saturday-201.

Photo Attributions:
  • Mr & Mrs Edsel Ford - Library of Congress
  • Bryan Edsel Ford - Library of Congress
  • Rear and Side View of Edsel & Eleanor Ford House and Josephine's Playhouse - Andrew Jameson, 3 June 2011; CC BY-SA 3,0
  • All others by Bob Scotney, including Edsel and his cars (photo of picture on display)


Wendy said...

Edsel was rather handsome as was his house. Too bad the auto named for him didn't measure up on the "good looks" chart.

While the playhouse is certainly impressive, a part of me thinks, "too bad for that child" because she had no need for an imagination after that.

Nancy said...

My goodness, that house seems more like several houses joined together -- it looks so large. I love it. I wonder how many bedrooms. They must have had cooking and cleaning staff. And the play house looks just like a full-size cottage. Fun!

Mike Brubaker said...

Full marks for this one, Bob. It looks like a very beautiful estate that has been generously shared with the public. Here in NC, we have a similar but older and more elaborate "house" - the Biltmore Estate built by George Vanderbilt. The Fords enjoyed living in their home for longer though.

boundforoz said...

It all seems very Great Gatsby doesn't it. I can just imagine the movie being filmed there. A beautiful house and grounds.

ScotSue said...

A fascinating profile of a house and its owners. What an intriguing place. It seems to be full of nooks, crannies and roofs, and must have been wonderful for any child to explore. And as for that Play House - Marie Antoinette comes to mind! I feel I could have moved in there quite happily. especially with the swimming pool and view.

Jackie van Bergen said...

What a great house, and that playhouse …. really something!
In Australia, the land of the Holden car we sometimes say that FORD stands for Found On Roadside Dumped!

Rosie said...

Great Post Bob! I really like Mrs. Ford's plaid coat. I see she was wearing plaid stockings to match. What a beautiful playhouse. I wonder if they had a maid that did the cleaning in there too???

Deb Gould said...

I'm with Wendy...those Edsels were pretty unattractive cars. My parents had friends who owned one (they were putting on "airs," said my parents); we used to make honking horn noises whenever we saw one on the road.

Jo said...

That's some house. What a place. Interesting shots Bob, he was a good looking man, pity we can't see his wife's face. That playhouse is quite impressive too. A shame such a beautiful place is no longer inhabited by the family.

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

Great post, will have to check this out the next time we drive down that way.

Karen S. said...

Bob, what a wonderful post. I do believe I could live in that playhouse and enjoy every blessed moment too. Such a treasure to have been able to tour this, you do know how to spend your days in Michigan. Many folks that live there all their life, never take the time to view it. Exceptional photos.

Postcardy said...

Edsel's house is a lot more impressive than the car named after him.

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

What a wonderful house. Generous of them to make it a public space. The next time I'm in Michigan I'm going to visit. Great post.

Tattered and Lost said...

I'm stunned by the playhouse. This is like walking back into a black and white movie during the depression when the rich were portrayed on film having such wonderful lives. I think many of them did. But no Edsel car on display?

Boobook said...

Eleanor lived in the house a long time after Edsel died. I wonder if she was alone.

Jeannemx said...

Beautiful pictures, Bob. If this place is 'maintained for the public' are any of the Ford family involved. Maybe the website will provide the answer.

Hazel Ceej said...

What a lovely home! I especially like the fact that it's inspired by homes in the Costwolds. Must have been exciting to see their art and antique collections!


Joan said...

Bob, great pictures and content. I couldn't decide which I liked more, Josephine's play house or Edsel's (i.e., the car collection. Really a great post.

Jo Featherston said...

A wonderful house, dedicated to excess, for a family to whom money was clearly no object. What a marvellous playhouse!

Kat Mortensen said...

We only ever think of the failure that was the "Edsel" automobile, but certainly this house and lifestyle speaks to anything but failure!

I had a playhouse too; it was made of lawn furniture and blankets. Ha!

Little Nell said...

There are many who would be pleased to actually live in a house like that playhouse! Extraordinary.

Patricia Barnard said...

Very interesting topic, Bob. Henry Ford appears way back in my family tree. One of the women in the family was Sarah Ford - perhaps Henry's sister?