The Gardner House

The Gardner House was built by Richard Gardner in 1831 or 1832 near what is now the corner of Asbuy Park and Warren Avenue in Detroit (then the Scotch Settlement area of Dearborn Township). It is the oldest surviving house originally built in Dearborn and exemplifies the pioneer-style homes that would have been built in early Dearborn.

Richard was born in Wroxton, Oxfordshire, England in 1807 and had immigrated to America in 1828 at the age of 18 to work as a clerk in Detroit. One of the original settlers of the Dearborn area, Richard and his wife, Elizabeth, lived in the Gardner House with their ten children. Henry Ford, being a distant relative of the Gardners, would frequently stop by the house as a boy to play with the children or spend an evening on his travels to and from Detroit.

When Henry Ford began construction of Greenfield Village, he purchased the Gardner House in 1929 and renovated it appear as it had during his boyhood, making it one of the first buildings featured in Greenfield Village. Nearly 70 years later, in 1996, the Gardner House was moved to its new home at the Dearborn Historical Museum.

Today, the Gardner House remains open for tours and is featured on the Dearborn Historical Museum’s Pioneer School Program, which hosts about 1,500 second grade students each year.