I started at Ford Motor Company in 1955, quickly delved into the company history and the Ford family history.. In 1956 my wife and I bought a home equidistant between the Dahlinger estate, and John and Barbara Dahlinger's home.
In 1958 I was in a car wash in Dearborn and admired a light blue '58 Continental At that time I was designing the 1961 Lincoln. The owner a vivacious blue eyed blond introduced her self as the owner, and although I was to naive to know better she came on to me. She was Barbara Dahlinger, the car wash owner told me after she drove away, as he asked what she saw in me. Years past and I met John and he kindly autographed his book for me.
Because there was a large portrait of Edsel in our building I immediately noted the similarity of John to Edsel. It was about then that I learned my son and buddies would play on the Dahlinger. estate until Mrs. Dahlinger would roar up in a Jeep with a shot gun on her lap and run them off. Dearborn was a small town, with a large percentage of Ford employees and it was common knowledge about Henry and Evangeline.
While working at Ford I soon learned that four co-workers attended the Village schools in Greenfield Village with John Dahlinger. One of whom is still alive, and they all knew that John Dahlinger was Henry Ford I's illegitimate son...
It was about 1958, and on one Sunday morning a guard at Fairlane called me and said, "if you come over in about 15 minutes I'll give you a tour of Fairlane" . I was on my way as it was only a mile away.
What a tour that was, just the guard and myself. He even showed me Henry's boat house that housed Henry's electric skiff that he would use to go the half a mile up the Rouge River to see Evangeline.
The Dahlinger mansion had a ground level door on the South side, which opened to a stairway that led directly to Evangeline's bedroom. Interesting!
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