Sunday, October 28, 2007

Greenfield Village

One of my favorite places in the world to visit (short list includes Edinburgh, Hong Kong, Vancouver and Saratoga) is the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village complex in Dearborn, Michigan.

Years ago, Henry Ford (the first one) began collecting. He started small, with cars, motorcycles, steam engines, etc, but then moved on to buildings. He bought the Wright Brother’s bicycle shop and the Firestone family farmhouse and barn, and that just whetted his appetite.

(hey, it’s great being a multimillionaire).

As his collection grew he decided to create a place near his home in Dearborn where all of these buildings could be displayed in an appropriate setting. It’s a wonderful place; it’s what Disneyland would be if Disneyland were only real. A Cotswold sheepherder’s cottage and a Swiss watchmaker’s house stand on the same wide, tree-lined street as Robert Frost’s study and a New England saltbox. A Maryland coastal plantation house shares a yard with a 1930’s sharecropper’s cabin.

Eventually Mr. Ford had to build a museum to house all of his stuff and that is now at the entrance to the Village. I think there must be an example of every motor vehicle built between 1895 and 1915 there, as well as buggies, fire engines, train cars and bicycles.

That is my Packard, btw. I don't care what mileage it gets or how maintenance-intensive it is, it's mine. Just as soon as I win the lottery.

A few more photos at

Oh, and there’s silver and china and jewelry too, if you’re interested in that kind of thing, at


Julie said...

Welcome to my sewing notions swap. WAnt to know something really ironic? I was in Edinburgh in August and live 15 minutes from Saratoga Springs, NY. Is that the Saratoga you meant?

Shay said...

Yes. I was in Ballston Spa several times when I was a contractor for State Farm and I dragged the spousal unit up there three years ago for our summer vacation. Love the area.

Julie said...

Shay, please check my blog for your swap partner. Natalie tried to contact you but was blocked. Thanks!

Natalie said...

Ah-ha! I figured it out... Hello, my name is Natalie and I am here to get to know you Swap Partner. Isn't it a fun idea of Julie's, and so nice of her to set this up too! Well, I am just going to have a look around. I see you are making afghans for Afghans... that's wonderful. Nice to meet you!

Natalie said...

OKay. I'm back lol... you are a brand new blogger, aren't you? If I'm not mistaken I have read all of your archives, and your profile. Welcome to blogging! The Henry Ford Museum sounds great... my boys would enjoy it, as would I. What kind of sewing/crafting do you enjoy? I see from your Flick'r photos you admired the wool rug... the quilt on the bed caught my eye. And I like the 1930's kitchen too.

Shay said...

The penny rug has to be seen to be believed. The entire room is carpeted in squares of wool with dollar-sized coins of felt whip-stitched across them. All of this, by hand.

Greenfield Village has a needlework auxiliary that makes all of the domestic articles you see in the village (the originals are in the museum). My hat is off to them.