Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn Michigan

 

Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

The Henry Ford Museum  is an absolutely massive and amazing place!  There are two parts to the Museum, Greenfield Village and the actual indoor Henry Ford Museum.  As I wrote this review I realized that there is simply too much to talk about in one review, so I will begin by reviewing the Village and will review the Museum in another post.

If you listen to nothing else I tell you, make sure that you have two days to see it.  We had only one day, and I think we must of have only seen about 1/3 of the exhibits.You need one day in Greenfield Village and one day in the Museum.

Greenfield Village

Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

After visiting Greenfield Village it becomes obvious that Henry Ford was some kind of genius madman!  He meticulously moved historical buildings to this village. Which may be a bummer for the towns from which he moved them, but it does mean they are preserved to an extremely high standard.   He paid close attention to the details; right down to having replica’s made of the china pattern that was used in his childhood home.  The Model T’s zipping around the village certainly add the ambiance.  You can, for a small fee ride a steam engine, take a carriage ride, or ride in one of those famous Model T’s.

Green Space at Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

Green Space at Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

There are several sections to the Village, Greenfield has lots of green spaces for kids to run, and fun reenactments of famous people and times.  For example the famous Ohio brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright were energetically telling the neighbors about the success of their first flight from the front porch of their house.  Oh and yes it was their actual house moved to the Village.

The Village was immaculately clean, even though it was quite busy.  There were very few

Steam Train Conductor at Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

Steam Train Conductor at Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

lines for anything, and we even got on the train in a timely manner.  If you live near here, this would be a great place to get a family membership in order to see everything.  There are many shady areas that looked perfect for a picnic!

There are interpreters and presenters everywhere!  These presenters and interpreters are some of the best I have ever had the pleasure of observing.  They could certainly give Disney Character Cast Members a run for their money.  The staff is friendly, polite and extremely knowledgeable, they are just incredibly impressive!  Have I mentioned how cool it was to see the Model T’s zipping around the streets?  I didn’t get to ride in one though.

The Historic Districts are as follows:
Train Junction at Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

Train Junction at Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

Railroad Junction IncludesThe Edison Illuminating Company’s Station A and Smiths Creek Depot.
This section includes a steam-powered rail line and an 1800s small-town train depot.  This is certainly worth doing, as it gives you a chance to see more of the park, than you otherwise would.  You even chug by the Henry Ford Magnet School that is house in, you guessed it, a train!  How cool would it be to go to school in a train!

In this area you also get to take a walk through an actual 19thCentury Detroit, Toledo & Milwaukee Roundhouse.  Kids who are fans of Thomas will flip out!  It was pretty special to my Mom too, as her Dad worked in the Columbus Roundhouse for years and it was kind of special for her to get a feel for what he was doing during those long hours of work he spent away from them when she was kid.

Working Farm Includes:  A Carriage Barn, Cider Mill, Richart Wagon Shop, Soybean

Working Farm at Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

Working Farm at Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

Experimental Laboratory, Stony Creek and William Ford Barn.

Okay, the kids and I really liked this section and we were more interested in it than any of the others.  This is a working 19th-century American Farm called Firestone Farm. It includes wagons, livestock and fields of vegetables and soybean.  It is supposed to be a snapshot of scenes straight from the nation’s agricultural revolution. There are many demonstrations and presentations in this area to help visitors get a feel for  how farmers lived off the land, without our modern conveniences.

Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

Edison at Work Includes:  Sarah Jordan Boarding House, Thomas Edison’s Fort Myers Laboratory, Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park Complex, Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park Glass Shed, Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park Laboratory, Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park Machine Shop, and Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park Office & Library.

I really liked this section as well.  It includes a replica of Edison’s Menlo Park complex at about the time he began to develop the incandescent light bulb.  Here you can see Thomas Edison’s workplaces, and the first buildings to be illuminated with electric light.  Again, these are buildings that were meticulously taken apart, moved to Greenfield Village and then put back together!

Porches and Parlors District Includes: The Ackley Covered Bridge, Adams Family

Ford Home at Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

Ford Home at Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

Home, Chapman Family Home, Edison Homestead, Farris Windmill, Noah Webster Home, Plympton Family Home and Robert Frost Home.
Some of the houses in this area are as old as the 1650’s-1930’s.  It’s pretty neat to show the kids a very different way of life from our Modern Cell Phone driven lives!

Liberty Craftworks Includes:  Armington & Sims Machine Shop, Glass Shop, Gunsolly Carding Mill, Loranger Gristmill, Pottery Shop, Printing Office, Tin Shop, Weaving Shop.
I was disappointed not to have time to investigate this section as it really appeals to me.  I am fascinated by things like glass working, pottery and weaving.  Next time maybe I will get to see some of these century old skills in action.
Carriage at Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

Carriage at Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

Main Street District includes: Eagle Tavern, Grimm Jewelry Store (which is actually a candy store), J.R. Jones General Store, Logan County Courthouse, Martha-Mary Chapel, Phoenixville Post Office, Town Hall, and , the Wright Cycle Shop (One of my favorites, I am fascinated by these guys!).

When you stroll down this street you can really get a sense of a busy little town with automobiles and carriages, events and amusements.  Loads of scenic American history and heritage are to be found here.  Make sure you try the Hobo Bread from the Grimm Jewelry Store.  Yummy!

Model T at Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

Model T at Greenfield Village, Henry Ford Museum in Dearfield Mi ©KUWK

Henry Ford’s Model T District includes:  Bagley Avenue Workshop, Ford Home, Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford Theater, Miller School.

This district follows the life of Henry Ford, industrialist and innovator.  You will be amazed at the things he worked on and invented.  His childhood home is here as well as a replica of the factory where he built his first automobiles.

Most importantly, this is the section where you can ride in a Model T.  They really buzz through the streets of the town too! Just in case you are wondering, no, you cannot actually drive one, you are merely the passenger which is pretty exciting really!
I have included photo’s from the indoor Henry Ford Museum below as well.  That area would take an entire 2nd day to explore.  We tried to do it all in one day and missed an a whole lot of things.
Oh, and if you are photographer, this place is seriously fun!

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