Monday, October 21, 2019

Greenfield Village

We're in Michigan, at the Wayne County Fairgrounds RV Park.   Pretty much a flat field with hook ups, but it works well for our purposes.    The place is fairly empty and has lots of places to walk Lewis so we're happy campers.

Beluga's windshield view

We're in the area to visit the huge indoor/outdoor history museum complex, The Henry Ford.    We've planned a trip to it's 80 acre Greenfield Village, and the Henry Ford Museum of Innovation (as seen on Saturday morning TV's Innovation Nation with Mo Rocca) and then to take the Ford Rouge Factory Tour.   We'll be here a week so will have plenty of time to explore the area also.

Yesterday we took 6 hours and walked the streets of beautiful Greenfield Village.   It is a very well done "village" with several Historic Districts where one can see early American craftsmen work in period, authentic surroundings, step foot in the lab where Edison developed the light bulb and visit the first home to be "electrified" a meal in a candlelit 1840's Tavern, stroll Main Street and visit Henry Ford's original one room school house, his favorite teacher's home (both dismantled and rebuilt on site), listen to Robert Frost read his famous poem "The Road Less Traveled" in his real parlor, have tea in an original Cotswold cottage, and see fields fit and harvested using century's old practices.     And, much much more.

While we really really enjoyed our day at Greenfield Village, I think things are a bit confusing for first time visitors like us.   You enter, have your tickets checked, given a basic map for a relatively disorganized layout and sent off on your way.   In many of the buildings there are docents to tell you what you're seeing or giving amusing anecdotes or historical references, but not all.    There isn't really any rhyme or reason about which way to go, which end to start at, what to see first.   I think the brochure and website missed the mark.......  So, we just started.

We saw things randomly....I wish I had more information, wish there had been some logical chronology to help keep things in context.

the Wagon shop

1911 Herschell-Stillman Carousel with hand carved animals.
(I wish I'd ridden it like you did MonaLiza!)

1840's Eagle Tavern

we enjoyed original Eagle Tavern recipes in a candle lit dining room
Lunch at the Eagle Tavern was delightful.   We enjoyed food prepared from original Eagle Tavern recipes, things folks would have eaten in this tavern in the mid 1800's.    Dave had a mug of  hard cider, roast chicken with cranberries and pickles that reminded him of his early days at home.

we missed "Tea" at this sweet Cotswold Cottage

decorative gutters

Dave helped  move the railroad turntable at the round house

There are four ways to get around the Village.....being driven in a restored, vintage Model T, riding on a fire-breathing steam locomotive, in a horse drawn wagon or by foot.

Model T's along the pumpkin lined roads

this locomotive fascinated seemed to actually breathe in and out, in and out like a bull preparing to charge

Not knowing that each of those conveyances came with a  narrated tour and stops at each of the districts, we opted to use our feet.    If we find ourselves back here again, we certainly would take a ride first!

Halloween decorations perhaps?

built in sunny perches!

crazy plant...I wonder what it is?

dozing in preparation for the evenings Halloween celebrations

And, Pam, here is a Lewis photo for you.   Please don't disturb him, he's sleeping.....



  1. It’s, love the window pictures, the colors and all the little details like the fancy gutters!

  2. This is SO on our list! The Wright house was sold to Ford for $1 if he would preserve it. I know the place is huge, thanks of the tips on how/what to see and where to stay. Looks even better than what I anticipated.

  3. Not having any feel for which way to head would bother me, too. But it looks like you found lots of interesting spots to visit. Love that the tavern is serving original recipes. What fun! Love the decorative gutter! Clever! Your MH spot looks decent with the changing foliage out front. I love your photo out the window with the swirls in the old glass. They really add so interesting detail to the photo. Great capture. Awww, look at my sweet boy. Too bad he can't comfortable!! Thanks!

  4. After we left that campground I asked Steve to replace our hose filled with iron!
    We took the train and a ride of the Model T when we explored there. It is an interesting place and lots to read and learn. Ha ha I even forgot I rode on the carousel!
    Love all your close up pics and I have to take a closer look of the window with swirls, for I can see a face with two big eyes looking in!

    1. Funny you mention the water here at the fairgrounds....we've started drinking bottled water because all three of us had stomach troubles the first few days we were here. In our explorations around the area we discovered a HUGE hazardous waste "stabilization and treatment facility" just around the corner and the news casts have been talking about lead in nearby water supplies.....since we stopped drinking the water we're all completely back to normal. coincidence? perhaps but we're using spring water while we're here!

  5. We were also initially confused about how to explore Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum...but we were fine once we just gave into the randomness and wandered. I don't think there is any cohesive plan to the collection, LOL. But it sure is interesting and well done! Love your photos. So glad you enjoyed your lunch at the Eagle Tavern. It looks like they change up the menu with the seasons—local fish and asparagus were on the menu when we were there in the spring.
    We didn't notice problems with the water at the campground, but that's probably because we use filtered water for cooking and drinking (we refill 5-gallon jugs with reverse osmosis water at the grocery store). The hazardous waste treatment facility sounds scary! 😳
    Oh, and I believe your mystery plant is amaranth. :-)

  6. We liked the fairgrounds there for our quick stop in the area. I'm so envious of your visits to both the village and museum and can't believe I didn't plan for them while we were there. Looks like a wonderful time of year to visit. So many great pics, love the breathing locomotive.