Monday, July 8, 2013

A visit to Ford’s Greenfield Village, in Dearborn, Michigan….

Henry Ford's Greenfield Village 025

Henry Ford's Greenfield Village 028The night we had dinner with Sharon’s cousin John and his wife Penny, they mentioned being members of Greenfield Village in nearby Dearborn and said it really was a must-see for us. As members of the Henry Ford they are allowed guest passes so on a sunny Saturday we set out to see it. The Ford grounds are huge and also house the Greenfield Village as well as the Henry Ford Museum.

Penny explained that it was not possible to do the entire package in one day and Henry Ford's Greenfield Village 029asked if we would prefer the museum tour or the village tour. We opted for the village tour since it was going to be a nice day and the thought of living history appealed to us more than seeing objects from history. Our tour guides explained that Henry Ford created the village for the public to enjoy and he hand selected each building, many of which he and his wife discovered in their travels. When he purchased these buildings great care was taken to rebuild them brick by brick or board by board exactly to their original likeness. There were buildings he found in Europe that were going to be torn down had he not saved them and given them new life. Included in his “collection of buildings” are historic homes of people he admired such as the Wright Brothers, his favorite childhood teacher’s home, his boyhood home, Thomas Edison’s laboratory, etc.

Henry Ford's Greenfield Village 015Greenfield Village  was founded on October 21, 1929 as an educational and historic landmark and was curated by Ford himself till the day he died. Ford’s village rivals Disney World in its cleanliness and ability to comfortably handle large crowds. The streets in the village are bustling with exact replicas of Model T cars shuttling ticketed tourists excited at the chance to ride in the vintage cars for a small fee. There are also costumed characters on vintage bicycles riding by and waiving to the crowds. There is also a steam powered train crisscrossing the grounds also carrying tourists as well as a large carousel to ride on. Everywhere you go there are times when you actually feel as if you have stepped back in time…

Henry Ford's Greenfield Village 009At the Wright Brother's Home & Cycle Shop we enjoyed a 15 minute play starring the Wright Brothers, Orville and Wilbur coming home to share the news of the inaugural Kitty Hawk flight with their sister whom by the way may have been the brains behind the brothers. It was very entertaining and they transported us back in time to share in their excitement at achieving their goal of flying and their realization that a motor had to be made in order to lengthen their flight time.

Henry Ford's Greenfield Village 008We visited a vintage hat shop where we saw not only gloves, hats, and hat pins and  jewelry for the ladies but also hats worn by the newsboys of the early 1900’s. At another vintage general store we were allowed to browse the goods while the shopkeeper showed us how the packages were wrapped and tied after purchase. We saw candle making demonstrations, glass blowing, print shop demonstrations, a blacksmith shop, an early power plant, etc. Along the way are time period farms and farm homes with chickens, cattle and sheep being worked just as they were in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Men with horses and horse drawn plows are seen working the wheat fields. In the homes we saw women in long dresses preparing time period foods in large vintage ovens and collecting well water to heat up and Henry Ford's Greenfield Village 027wash dishes with.

It was indeed an all-day affair and so enjoyable to be able to step back in time in this venue. We are so grateful Penny and John graciously shared this place with us. They told us they love the village as it is especially fun to see in the Fall and at Christmas or at the many concerts or special events held there. It was an amazing experience and we can surely see why they are members and enjoy it so much…

If you find yourself near Detroit you surely have to check this place out but don’t forget your walking shoes as the place is large and you will cover a lot of ground as you stroll around all day. And for all you who want to RV someday to see sights such as the Greenfield Village, Henry Ford has a great quote for you…

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.“

Henry Ford's Greenfield Village 026So get your butts in gear and get out here on the road… you are missing a lot of what America has to offer…

Sunday we headed north about 150 miles and are now staying at yet another fairgrounds called the Isabella County Fairgrounds.

THE END…

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the wonderful tour, our family was there in 1950's but I don't remember much and we never took any pictures of our adventure there.

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  2. Thanks for the tour, it has been along time since we were there.

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  3. As I live just 15 miles north of the museum, I've been there many times. Each time is a wonderful experience. Thanks for the great post and the memories.

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  4. Hi! Stumbled upon your site and wanted to drop you a line. Loved this post in particular. You're an awesome writer. I'm working on my own music festival blog that centers around travel and thought your blog would be great to reference for future posts.

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  5. So fun to find your blog. My husband and I are wrestling with the idea of selling the house and going full time, so I've been trying to find blogs that might help us with some of our questions and concerns. Looks like you are having a great time! I look forward to reading more of your past posts.

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