Discover Country Elegance At Three Fields
Mansion in May 2023 Designer Showhouse and Gardens
By Laurie Pellichero
Three Fields, an elegant French manor style home situated on almost 36 acres of pastoral, rolling fields in the Borough of Mendham, has been chosen as the site for the Women’s Association for Morristown Medical Center’s (WAMMC) 20th Mansion in May Designer Showhouse and Gardens.
Located just an hour from Princeton, Three Fields is a 9,000-square-foot stone and brick home designed by New York architect Greville Rickard for Benjamin Duncan Mosser and his wife, the former Florence Willets Mosford. It was built between 1928 and 1930 and its many architectural elements include tall, steeply pitched tile roofs accented by dormers; wood casement windows; and French doors that open to the formal gardens, ponds, and fields beyond. The façade is made up of several conjoined units, as if the mansion had been expanded over the years.
The WAMMC is a 400-plus member volunteer organization founded in 1893 to provide financial support for Morristown Medical Center, part of the Atlantic Health System, in advancing the quality of health care in the community. Now celebrating its 130th anniversary, the WAMMC hosts several events, but its signature fundraiser is the Mansion in May Designer Showhouse and Gardens, open to the public every two to three years.
Since its inception in 1974, this fundraiser has raised more than $12 million for a variety of causes at Morristown Medical Center. Past Mansion in May sites include Upton Pyne in Bernardsville, Giralda Farms in Madison, The Vail Mansion in Morristown, Blairsden in Peapack-Gladstone, and Alnwick Hall – The Abbey in Morris Township. Due to the pandemic, the last Mansion in May, Tyvan Hill in New Vernon, was presented as Splendor in September in 2020. It raised more than $1 million to benefit the expansion of the Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute at the medical center.
As to why Three Fields was chosen as this year’s showhouse, Mary Courtemanche, Mansion in May 2023 co-chair, says, “Three Fields continues the tradition of using historic homes for Mansion in May. It is a home that we felt would be of interest to both interior and landscape designers. Plus, its owner wants to give back to Morristown Medical Center.”
Model of Three Fields, currently housed in the Mendham Library. (Photo by Dannette Merchant)
Mosser, the home’s original owner, was a partner in the prominent Wall Street banking and brokerage firm Clark, Dodge & Co. for nearly 30 years. In 1949, less than a year after her husband’s death, Florence Mosser sold Three Fields to Andrew Fletcher and his wife, the former Elizabeth Dorothea Camp. Fletcher served as mayor and councilman of the Borough of Mendham and was on the board of, and a major benefactor to, the Mendham Library. In the mid-1960s, the Fletchers gave Three Fields to Mendham Borough, and the trust holding the proceeds from the borough’s sale of the property in the 1980s, after their deaths, continues to benefit the community.
“Three Fields is now privately owned, and the owner will take up residence after this year’s event,” says Barbara Ruane, Mansion in May 2023 co-chair.
Courtemanche notes that highlights of the mansion include “the attention to detail that the owner has put into the restoration of Three Fields, the way the large house feels like a home, and the gorgeous property.”
For this year’s Mansion in May, Three Fields will feature approximately 31 design spaces, as well as 17 beautifully designed landscape areas. Twenty-nine of the area’s leading interior designers and 15 prominent landscape designers have worked since the beginning of February to perfect their spaces.
“Visitors to the mansion will be wonderfully surprised at how gracious the home is, and how beautiful and serene the property is,” says Ruane. “There is also the excitement of seeing 11 new interior designers and four new landscape designers while also viewing new things from old favorites.”
“There is no overall theme,” continues Ruane. “Each designer works independently, showcasing their skills in however way the space they were awarded moves them.”
Carriage House at Three Fields. (Photo by Dannette Merchant)
Susan Cohan, principal and design director of Susan Cohan Gardens, was selected to create the Master Plan for the landscape design of Three Fields. It is her seventh Mansion in May project.
“Many of the early 20th century estate properties are disappearing to suburban development,” says Cohan. “Three Fields is one of the most intact estate homes I’ve seen. The home is an excellent example of Tudor Revival and has amazing views as well as the bones of what was before. In my design practice we try to honor those elements and create spaces that also work for contemporary living. Mansion in May allows others to experience that and is an important force in respecting and preserving Morris County’s country estate legacy.”
The WAMMC has pledged to raise $1.5 million from this year’s event to benefit the expansion and modernization of Morristown Medical Center’s Institute of Bioskills Training and Innovation. The center, opened in 2005, offers health professionals a safe and controlled environment where they can practice skills without risk of patient harm through simulation training. This training helps bridge the gap between theory and practice.
“The Bioskills lab was chosen as this year’s recipient because it touches all areas of the hospital,” says Courtemanche. “It is used by residents from surgery, emergency medicine, OB/GYN, internal medicine, and pediatrics. It is also used by respiratory therapists, nurses, physical therapists, EMTs/paramedics, and medical students, all of whom can go and practice or learn new skills.”
Ruane says she hopes visitors to the Mansion in May 2023 Designer Showhouse and Gardens will ultimately “have an enjoyable visit, learn something new about design or landscape, and feel good that their visit is ultimately helping to ensure that Morristown Medical Center continues to be the No. 1 hospital in New Jersey.”
The Mansion in May 2023 Designer Showhouse and Gardens will be open daily May 1 through May 31. The mansion opens for self-guided, general admission tours at 10 a.m., with the last ticket sold at 3 p.m. Group and individual private tours are also available starting at 9 a.m. For further information and to purchase tickets, go to the “Tickets” tab at mansioninmay.org.
Viewing the outdoor gardens can take place either before or after the mansion visit. Ticket holders can also shop in the boutiques and have lunch on the grounds in the Three Fields Café.
Guests should note that pets and children under the age of 12, including infants, are not permitted in the mansion.
Offsite parking with free shuttle service will be available at 82 West Main Street, Mendham.
For more information, visit mansioninmay.org.
(Photo by Dannette Merchant)