The Henry Ford Estate
Fairlane: Home of Clara and Henry Ford
Fair Lane was the beloved home of Clara and Henry Ford from 1915 until their deaths in 1950 and 1947, respectively. The 56-room mansion and five-story powerhouse served as their sanctuary and as their laboratory. Built on 1,300 acres of farmland, just miles from Clara and Henry’s birthplaces, most of the estate’s original structures stand today.
The estate included the main residence, the powerhouse that supplied energy to the estate, the greenhouse for Clara’s extensive gardens, the boathouse, and the stables. The cornerstone for the powerhouse was laid by Thomas Alva Edison, and the energy created by Fair Lane’s hydropower not only powered the estate but a part of the town of Dearborn as well. The Powerhouse included the estate’s garage and a laboratory where Henry worked on engine designs on the upper level.
One of the first historic sites to be designated a National Historic Landmark, the architectural style is an eclectic mix of English castle and prairie style, mixing European grandeur and Midwestern charm. Esteemed landscape architect Jens Jensen designed the grounds and gardens. The result was Clara and Henry’s ideal vision of a home.
The historic structures of the estate, including the main house, are currently closed for restoration.The grounds and gardens are open for visitors Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. year round, plus additional weekend hours during the late spring and summer. The estate is closed on weekends during the winter. Grounds admission is free. The house will open periodically for special celebrations, events and sneak peeks at restoration in progress.