Skylands, my home on Mount Desert Island, off the coast of Maine, is the perfect place for a house party. Guests can come and go easily, many can be put up as if the place were a small, luxurious hotel, and the magic of the house and its surroundings is extremely appealing. The location has been a favorite summering destination for families from Philadelphia, New York, and Boston for generations. In the late 19th century, Rockefellers, Fords, Eliots, and other illustrious American families discovered the appeal of pink-granite mountains, verdant forests, and shimmering ocean vistas in their search for natural beauty and American splendor.
My property was developed in the 1920s by Edsel Ford; his wife, Eleanor; and a spectacular team headed by Duncan Candler (a very talented New York architect) and Jens Jensen (a Prairie School landscape architect). “Space,” “views,” “comfort,” “fresh air,” and “rustic luxury” are the best words to describe the place where I decided to invite a group of friends to celebrate my birthday last August.