The house was commissioned by Richard G. Tower in the early 1900s and was originally referred to as Tower Cottage. In 1922, the house was purchased by Edsel Ford, along with two adjoining properties, to create his Skylands estate, a summer retreat, which is now owned by Martha Stewart. After Skylands was completed in 1925, Ox Ledge became the summer home of Ernest Kanzler, a Ford executive who was married to Mrs. Ford's sister. The cottage was later owned by the Kanzler's son, whose widow married William Van Alen, son of the noted architect, and grandson of both Atwater Kent and Mrs. James Laurens Van Alen (later Brugiere).
The circular driveway is very similar to the one at Skylands.
The property was built on a sturdy foundation of granite, quarried on site.
The view from the terrace is spectacular.
Indoors, the house still has most of its original fixtures and architectural details. While it appears to require some refurbishing (and lots of redecorating!) the house remains true to its original design: built for summer guests and entertaining.
Skylands and Ox Ledge once shared a driveway, and when the properties were divided, the driveway, as well as the Ford's formal garden, were retained by the Van Alens for Ox Ledge. In the 1940s, a new driveway and a separate entrance from the main road was created for Skylands.
The garden, designed by Jens Jensen, was built on the foundations of another shingle cottage built in 1901, and the beautiful stone gazebo, shown above, survives from that house. Jensen's formal plan for this site is shown below:
The Ox Ledge property is currently for sale by the Van Alen/Kanzler heirs. Photographs from the Knowles Company. You can view the listing here.