Nestled amongst century old trees sits one of the best kept secrets in South Western Ontario. A magnificent 1930’s, 6,000 sq/ft. French Normandy Chateau designed by famed Los Angeles architect Arthur W. Hawes, (brings Hollywood North). The original owner, Detroit Mayor Philip Dickenson spared no expense when building this estate including 5 out buildings. The 4 bedroom 5 bathroom Chateau is simply breathtaking. The grand room boasts a soaring 35′ high cathedral ceiling surrounded by antique carved panels imported from France, beautifully appointed stained glass windows and an elegant foyer with spiral staircase and mezzanine to master bedroom. Experience the stunning craftsmanship and detail with steel French windows, original brass hardware, 3 large stone wood burning fireplaces and original oak plank floors throughout. The Bedrooms rest in the west wing while the Dining, Butler and Kitchen sit in the east wing and finally the centerpiece, the oak panelled Grand Room. Topping it off is a tranquil lake facing sunroom with a wood burning fireplace. To this day, the house retains its exquisite European character. Walking onto this property and entering the Chateau is a wonderful journey back in time to the era of grand living and opulence.
Experience The Property
The property has an abundance of wildlife, fields of wildflowers & old growth forests. Stay close to the chateau and enjoy the original cement pool, fire pits and tennis court or take a 10 min walk through a picturesque trail to the water’s edge, revealing miles of sandy beach. Experience the most beautiful star filled nights and amazing sunsets and the sound of the surf. The Estate is a secluded, rustic, yet refined French country environment, accessed by a unique drive down a one mile gravel road through a farmers field.
The property lies 30 minutes from Port Stanley & Long Point. I hr drive to London, 1.5 to Hamilton & 2 hr drive to Toronto. Buffalo and Detroit 2.5 hrs. The region offers an abundance of farming communities, lake and beach activities, artisans, wineries, microbreweries, antique markets, internationally renowned golf courses and seasonal hunting, fishing and it’s one of Canada’s top destinations for birdwatching.
History of the Property
In the 1920’s a group of investors organized the Erie Shores Development Company and optioned property along the north shore of Lake Erie, purchasing some of it outright. Phillip S Dickinson, a lawyer, real estate investor and former mayor of Detroit was one of the principals in the company. After the Stock Market Crash of 1929, the development scheme died but Phillip Dickinsons dream to have a vacation property on the north shore came to life. Phillip commissioned famed Los Angeles Architect Arthur C Hawes who was known for his French Normandy designs. Mr. Hawes designed The Westwood Theatre built by Jane and Peter Fonda’s mother and The Hollywood Reporter building to name a few. Dickenson had this magnificent Chateau built on land overlooking the lake just west of Port Burwell and called it Windymere. Phillip removed beautiful antique hand carved oak panels from a Chateau in Normandy France to adorn the walls of the grand room, dining and study. Steel French windows with stunning brass hardware was installed throughout and the stained glass reflects the families coat of arms. The complex of buildings included a fullsize house to breed thoroughbred Dachsunds with an infirmary and lounge for the animals., a two bedroom cottage for his mother in law, a two story home for the caretaker and family, stables, the coach house and garage all constructed with cedar, cement and classic plaster exteriors.
The Dickinson family enjoyed the Chateau, entertaining prominent families and celebrities from the US and Canada. Rumor has it Al Capone was a frequent guest.
Once the family moved to California they made only occasional use of if it before selling it to international manufacturing icon Gerry Livingston. The estate is now owned by a Los Angeles film and television agent.
The Surrounding Cottages and Buildings
The Howard House – 700 sq ft. One Bedroom Cottage with Kitchenette and full Bath
Peaches – Suite 1 – 2 Double Beds, Full Bath
Peaches – Suite 2 – Queen and twin Bed, 1 Bath
Peaches – Turret Room – Open Concept, multipurpose main room. Electric, gas and waterline for all buildings in basement.
Workshop – Power and plumbing
Nanny’s House – 2000 sq.ft. at storey, 3 bedroom, 3 full Baths, Full Kitchen. (needs renovation)
Kennels, 4000sq ft. 6 bedrooms, 5 full baths, (needs renovation)
200 Amp service in Main Chateau. All buildings have their own brand new electric panels and septic tank. The Main Chateau and Kennel has 2 Septic tanks.
Situated approximately 1.6 kms off the main road and adjacent to 160 acres of Provincial Parkland, the Estate lies minutes from the destination towns such as Stratford, Port Stanley and Long Point and within 1 to 2 hrs from London, Hamilton and Toronto International Airports and 2.5 hrs from Detroit & Buffalo.