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Greenfield Village

Yesterday was a birthday in our house. Jon got the day off for his birthday, and we, deciding to make the most of that and the beautiful weather, headed to Greenfield Village. Calvin has been talking about the Village since we visited the Henry Ford Museum last week. Greenfield Village is outside on the grounds behind the museum and is a collection of authentic historical buildings, like Ford's birth home, Edison's laboratory, The Wright Brother's shop and home, and slave quarters from a brick "plantation" in Georgia. The homes and buildings were purchased and actually moved to the park and set up to give visitors a chance to experience life from a time long ago.

Houses and buildings are not from any one time period, but provide a look at many eras throughout the history of the United States. This is another great place to find serious reenactors at work. We walked through the farm field where farm hands were seriously plowing like mad, trying to get the fall crop planted before the first freeze, then inside the house we met the two women who were preparing the midday meal that would be eaten by all farm workers, and a woman out back who was doing the laundry and hanging it out to dry. These people are for real.

Not all of the village employees are reenactors. Reenactors are always in period dress, while "experts" are dressed in a village uniform. Experts are not in character at any given time, but were wonderfully knowledgeable about their respective positions. Some are mainly docents, like the lady in the printing press and the tinsmith, while others are actual tradesmen, like glass blowers and train restorers. We got to see all of them performing their trades.

We took a wagon ride through the village part of the village

We played in the beautiful fall sun.

Calvin loved the round house—an authentic building, but also one of the only buildings on site that went "out of character" with a museum style room. It also allowed us to go down in a pit underneath a fabulous steam engine.

There is so much to see that, like with the museum, we know we'll have to go back. We didn't spend much time on the village street in the shops, but we did take a trip through town in a Model-T.

We enjoyed midday birthday celebration meal at the mid 19th century Eagle Tavern, Calvin J. Wood, proprietor. We met Calvin Wood on our way in—a truly enjoyable reenactor who loved our own Calvin and offered him a job planting corn in the spring at nine cents an hour, twelve hours a day. We sat at community tables, ate traditional dishes prepared with local foods, mostly organic, and sipped drinks through noodle straws. Really delightful.

We took a train ride all around the park, and watched them fill the ancient steam engine with water at one of our station stops. Calvin loved watching the bell ring, and I loved feeling the moisture of the steam, and getting slightly dotted with soot.

The guys rode on a carousel made in New York almost a century ago.

Covered bridges, scarecrows, beautiful fall folliage, beautiful day. We had such a great time.

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Reader Comments (1)

What a superbly fun-filled day! I love our historic village! I'm so, so glad there are such incredible places for us to play and explore and discover!
October 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

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