The long, stone-wall lined private driveway leads you into this dream property with ancient trees, a trout-stocked pond frequented by blue heron and ducks, a babbling brook and a foot bridge over a waterfall and another bridge leading to the tent site. The perennial gardens all over the compound have been professionally redesigned by the head master gardener from the prestigious Cranbrook Institute in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Dramatic, tiered perennial secret gardens in the back of the estate house are accessed by stone steps installed years ago and peacefully watched over by an ancient Aphrodite-style garden fountain in the center. The stairs lead to an old rose garden and sunset gazebo. The natural wooded back acreage of the property rises up a rocky ridge and descends down to the brook.
The property’s main house is a four bedroom, colonial Bank style home dating to 1794, that boasts a wrap around, columned porch with coloquial corners. Recently exposed exterior original stonework anchors an alfresco dining area under a charming pergola. As you step inside the house, an elegant foyer reveals a formal living room with restored original paneling, beamed ceilings and raised panel window frames. The paneled Inglenook stone fireplace lends additional charm and warmth to this inviting space flanked by three sets of double French doors leading out to the porch. A walk-in, stone fireplace anchors the dining room, situated in the original part of the home. The Dutch door in the dining room opens to the alfresco dining porch overlooking the brook and the pond.
The kitchen features Viking appliances, granite countertops, a glass tile backsplash and radiant heat floors. Original stone walls in the adjacent family room are enhanced with local reclaimed barnwood. Sunlight streams in through eleven windows in the vaulted two story section of the family room. The old door on the wine cellar completes the vintage feel of this room.
An authentically restored staircase appointed with era appropriate millwork leads to a sophisticated, three-room master suite. The spacious, chic master bedroom with wood burning fireplace adjoins a glass-walled sunroom that overlooks the back gardens. Two pedestal sinks, a marble tile shower and deep jetted tub enhance the master bath. The middle floor of the home boasts two more bedrooms and en suite baths. One of the bedrooms has a full/single bunk bed set and the other one has a day bed/trundle set.
The cottage has two levels featuring three bedrooms and a private den, a kitchen with granite countertops, two full baths and a laundry room. Even the cottage has a master with a wood burning fireplace.
The centerpiece of the property’s summer entertainment is the mill house, the original stone building on the property which overlooks the heated lap pool. The downstairs section of the pool house has been restored to its original “speakeasy” format complete with custom bar, kitchenette, and half bath. The striking, nautical themed rooftop lounge area was designed in the mid 1990’s by the curator for the museum of modern art in New York.
Brookmill Farm was once home to the theater-owning Fox family of Philadelphia, who used the property as their playground in the country. Whimsical garden decorations installed by the Fox family can still be found amongst the bucolic grounds. Stone garden frog fountains dot the property. Another noteworthy resident was Brian Garfield, author of “Deathwish”, which later became a movie starring Charles Bronson. Brian wrote the book while he owned Brookmill Farm and mailed the draft from the property. Legend has it that during the days of prohibition, moonshine was sold out of the cellar reached by hidden stairs. No need to hide the most recent family's claim to fame; the Vernor family, famous for their midwestern ginger ale, is also credited with inspiration for sharing this private estate with aspiring couples!