Todays’ adventure took us to the Greenfield Village section of the Ford Museum.
“The Henry Ford is the largest indoor-outdoor museum complex in America. Patrons enter at the gate, passing by the Josephine Ford Memorial Fountain and Benson Ford Research Center. Nearly one hundred historical buildings were moved to the property from their original locations and arranged in a "village" setting. The museum's intent is to show how Americans lived and worked since the founding of the country. The Village includes buildings from the 17th century to the present, many of which are staffed by costumed interpreters who conduct period tasks like farming, sewing and cooking. A collection of craft buildings such as pottery, glass-blowing, and tin shops provide demonstrations while producing materials used in the Village and for sale. Greenfield Village has 240 acres (970,000 m²) of land of which only 90 acres (360,000 m²) are used for the attraction, the rest being forest, river and extra pasture for the sheep and horses.”
The transportation system provides rides by horse-drawn omnibus, steam locomotive, a 1931 Model AA bus (one of about 15 known to exist), and authentic Ford Model Ts. The Weiser Railroad is a standard gauge passenger train that travels around the perimeter of Greenfield Village and has four stations. Steam locomotives in operation include the Torch Lake, an 1873 0-6-4 Mason Bogie which is one of the oldest operating steam locomotives in the U.S., and the Edison, a Manchester 0-4-0 rebuilt into a 4-4-0 by Ford. The railroad, unusually for a heritage railway, has a direct connection to Amtrak.”
The entrance - the flag and clock tower are on the museum that we toured yesterday.
The village is huge and divided into a number of sections. Once we realized that to see it all would take a couple of days, we had to decide what were some of the things we really wanted to do on this trip.
Of course, the first was to ride around the village in the Model T. On our way to the Henry Ford area, we passed by one of the working farms that was plowing:
One of the horse drawn omnibuses passed us:
And we arrived. As we waited in line, I found this to be interesting:
Ready to go:
Some scenes from the drive (with added info while walking around).
Other buildings along the way:
One of the working plantations:
And the lovely carousel :
What a lovely ride. From there we headed to the train station which was right across from another of the working farms. This one raised cattle and sheep (although we did not see the sheep.):
And one of those steam tractors working:
Here she comes:
The train took us around the perimeter of the village.
Past more plantations - fall is here:
Ford truck testing area:
We just LOVE steam trains:
Past Station A:
Past that steam tractor as we headed back into the station:
Another lovely ride.
We made our way to the Henry Ford area:
The parlor area:
We had a chance to talk with Clara Ford and her helpers. They were making grape jelly in the kitchen and another was making a rug. So interesting!
From there we went to Henry’s First Workshop:
And through his first factory:
Oh My! We even caught up to Henry who told us about all it took to go into his Model T:
All thru the village there are folks in period dress and docents that will answer any question as well as tell you about the building, its contents, and that period of time.
Still on main street, we went to the Wright Brothers House and Cycle Shop:
Model T’s all over:
We just couldn’t pass up a ride on the carousel:
We made our way past this building a few times but at 3 PM, we stayed to watch Gog and Magog, toll the bells:
The railroad area:
Andy working on one of the locomotives:
The Edison stopping for water:
And off she goes:
The final area was the Liberty Craftworks, where we watched glass making:
There were classes to make a glass flower - would have loved to try that -
We also went to the pottery area, printing press area, tin smith area and the looms/weaving area:
This one loom is run by cards - each card is one row of the pattern. Almost like a computer but are you ready for this - it was developed in 1803 and still in use today - WOW!
The cards ready to go:
And that ended our day - we were pooped! We only touched the surface of this village - there is so much to see, to do, to learn in almost every building and area, I could spend weeks.
We will be back!