William Edmund and Nina A. Downey Scripps Estate
|Location||1840 Scripps Rd|
|Nearest city||Lake Orion, Michigan|
|Architect||Clarence E. Day|
|Architectural style||Norman/Tudor Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||07001009|
|Added to NRHP||27 September 2007|
Built by William Edmund Scripps for his family in 1927, it now serves as a Catholic Guest House and Retreat Center. Scripps, the son of the founder of the Detroit News and WWJ radio, began the farm as a "hobby", before eventually settling. It is currently not open to the public due to ongoing repairs, but tours and events have been offered in the past to showcase the interior design and garden.
The farmland of 3,000 acres (12 km2) was purchased by Scripps in 1916 from several different landowners. At its peak, the farm featured angus cattle, cows, swine, sheep, and poultry. During the Depression years, the farmhands and mansion servants all lived on the property. A small one-room schoolhouse for children of farm employees was established in 1925, and in 1952 was converted into an Episcopalian church.
Amelia Earhart, at the request of Scripps, flew an experimental glider at the property in 1929. Scripps, a pilot himself, became a glider enthusiast and formed his own company in 1929, Gliders, Inc.. He began his venture by manufacturing a primary type glider.
Scripps died in 1952, and much of the farm was sold at auction. A large part of the collection of European paintings from the estate was donated to the Detroit Institute of Arts in 1956.
The farmland and lakes are now mostly parks for Orion Township, Oakland County, and the state of Michigan; (Civic Center Park, Orion Oaks and Bald Mountain Recreation Area, respectively). The original farmhouses and buildings have been converted into the Canterbury Village shopping center.
The estate was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.