Photo of Kennedy's limousine courtesy www.picasaweb.google.com
You can do all of these activities at Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, built by Henry Ford back in the 1929. The village and museum represent the great contrasting philosophy of Mr. Ford: he did more to industrialize
than any one entrepreneur as displayed in his museum; and yet, he longed for the rural landscape of his childhood seen at his pioneer village. The American industrialist was constantly looking forward and looking backward at the same time. America
Photo of Lincoln's chair courtesy www.flickr.com
The museum shows the progress of America from pioneer times to the industrial revolution to the present day. The outside of the red-brick domed structure is patterned after Independence Hall in Philadelphia (just like the American Pavilion at Disney World’s EPCOT). Once inside, guests look up at the high ceilings which are made from the hulls of ships turned upside down, giving you an idea of the size of the museum. Visitors see every machine from cars to planes to trains to busses to cotton gins to tractors. From the ceiling hangs Charles Lindbergh’s plane “The Spirit of St. Louis”. Henry Ford has packed a lot of American History into one building. It is a celebration of the United States’ progress over the past three centuries.
Photo of Henry Ford Museum courtesy www.thirdav.com
Next door to the handsome museum is the pioneer village, home to almost 100 buildings. A train steams along the perimeter of the museum to give riders an overall view of the village. Inside, visitors stop to examine Ford’s old work shop. Thomas’
Edison’s birthplace sits nearby. A beautiful chapel sits in the centre where present-day brides and grooms marry, in front of which is a courtyard where staff dressed in period costumes give old fashioned toys to visiting children to play with. A one-room schoolhouse similar to one Henry would have attended in his youth also sits in the village. Stepping into the village is like stepping back in time. Henry Ford took extra care to travel the continent, search for buildings and items for his village and bring them home to display. For instance, Thomas Edison’s childhood home was built in Vienna, Ontario and later moved to Dearborn, Michigan by Henry Ford. No visit is complete without a visit to one of the gift shops where guests can purchase: old fashioned toys, candy, fridge magnets of Kennedy’s limousine or Parks’ bus, and rare books about Henry Ford and the history of automobiles.
Photo of Firestone Farm courtesy www.wrenscottage.com
Take a trip back in time and imagine camping by the fire under the stars with Henry Ford and his fellow inventors, Thomas Edison and Harvey Firestone. It’s worth the trip to
Photo of Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, President Warren G. Harding and Harvey Firestone on a camping trip in 1921 courtesy http://content.artofmanliness.com