Monday, December 31, 2018

Edsel & Eleanor Ford House

The last day of December in Michigan has been overcast and rainy.  The Holiday Belles tour at Edsel & Eleanor Ford House began the end of November and ends January 6th.  My hubby was meeting our two sons at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant to watch a football game with them, so I decided it was a perfect time to take the Holiday Belles tour.

I've toured the mansion many times, but each time with a different docent so I learn something new every time.  Suzanne was the docent today and she was excellent. My January presentation at the assisted living facility will be about Edsel and Eleanor Ford, so that was another incentive for visiting their home today.

The Holiday Belles tour featured the debutante receptions Mrs. Ford hosted for her granddaughters in the 1960's.  She had a total of 8 granddaughters.  I was thinking it might be an exhibit similar to the wedding gowns with actual dresses on display, but it was touch screen digital photos instead.  Below are a few photos that were part of the tour today.  I found them on the Internet because they were in the newspaper. 

The photo on the right below is Eleanor Ford, one of her granddaughters in the middle, and her daughter, Josephine.  Notice the white gloves of the 1960's.

[Lynn McNaughton Ford, Eleanor Ford, and Sheila Firestone Ford]

The old Welcome Center has been demolished to make way for a new one scheduled to be completed in 2020.  During the interim, one of the garages has been turned into a welcome center.  The garages are no ordinary garages - they were part of the tour filled with some of the Ford family vehicles before the new assignment.

Guests enter a large white tent before going into the temporary welcome center.

In one corner a train was set up in a rustic setting for children to enjoy seeing.

Entrance to garage where tour tickets are purchased.

I arrived shortly after 1:00 o'clock so had to wait until the 2:00 o'clock tour.  A shuttle transports guests from the garage to the mansion.  While I waited, I looked around the gift area.

I bought a book about dishes [no surprise there! ;-)].  When we went into the kitchen on the tour, we saw all of Mrs. Ford's china.  She had a large collection that represented all the well-known manufacturers.  I noticed a Shelley breakfast set in one cupboard.

I also watched a short video about Edsel and Eleanor Ford and their beautiful mansion while I waited in the welcome center.

Then it was time to be transported to the mansion.  The 50-minute tour began in the foyer.  It's one of two rooms in the mansion where pictures are allowed.

Mrs. Ford liked a flocked Christmas tree with glass ornaments that were hand-blown at Greenfield Village.

From the foyer we moved to the Gallery which is the largest room in the mansion.  We were allowed to take pictures in that room too.  At one of the December receptions Mrs. Ford hosted for her granddaughters she had the chandeliers removed and Christmas trees hung from the ceiling.  They re-created the scene for the Holiday Belles tour.

Opposite end of the gallery.

That concludes my pictures of the tour.  If you're a local reader and haven't gone on the tour yet, it's definitely worth your time.  You have six days left to make it happen.  The mansion will be closed January 7 thru April 1st for restoration work.

Mrs. Ford has been gone for 42 years [she passed away in 1976 at 80 years of age]. Her four children are deceased as well, and one daughter-in-law, Martha Firestone Ford [widow of Wm. Clay Ford, the youngest child of Edsel and Eleanor], is the only one of that generation left.  She is 93 years old and very active as the owner of the Detroit Lions Football Team.

I'm in my own little mansion right now watching Hallmark movies waiting to ring in 2019.

Happy New Year to all who visit my blog!


  1. What a lovely tour! Sounds like you have the perfect spot to welcome the new year.

  2. I love all this history and am so glad you decided to take the tour!


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