A Visit to Greenfield Village & America’s Ingenuity

Greenfield Village

Henry Ford Museum

20900 Oakwood Blvdat The Henry FordDearborn, MI 48124-4088

Tickets and Hours

 

 

 

Henry Ford said of his museum:

I am collecting the history of our people as written into things their hands made and used…. When we are through, we shall have reproduced American life as lived, and that, I think, is the best way of preserving at least a part of our history and tradition…

 

The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Greenfield Village is a large indoor and outdoor history museum complex and a National Historic Landmark in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan. The Henry Ford Museum opened in 1929. It is based on Henry Ford’s efforts to preserve items of historical interest and portray the Industrial Revolution with the property, homes, machinery, exhibits, and Americana of historically significant items as well as common memorabilia. It is the largest indoor-outdoor museum complex in the United States and is visited by over 1.7 million people each year.

 

 

entrance to Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village

 

 

 

parking for Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village

 


The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation began as Henry Ford’s personal collection of historic objects, which he began collecting as far back as 1906. Today, the 12 acre (49,000 m) site is primarily a collection of antique machinery, pop culture items, automobiles, locomotives, aircraft, and other items such as  Abraham Lincoln’s chair from Ford’s Theatre. Tickets for the Henry Ford Museum are $24, $22 for seniors, and $18 for youth age 5 to 11.  Tickets for Greenfield Village are $28, $25.25 for seniors, and $21 for youth age 5 to 11. Back several decades ago, I lived in Michigan and was a member of the Museum. I visited the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village often.

 

 

fountain at entrance

 

 

 

 

Today we’ll visit the Greenfield Village complex of buildings and get the feel of past times, a perfect place for a family day.  During the summer, Greenfield Village is an outdoor museum of homes and buildings including Noah Webster’s Connecticut home, Henry Ford’s birthplace, Harvey Firestone’s family farm from Columbiana, Ohio, Thomas Edison’s N. J. laboratory, the Wright Brothers’ bicycle shop, and many other historical exhibits. Greenfield Village  is open seven days a week from April 13 – November 3 and Friday – Sunday from November 4 – December 1. The Village is open select nights during December for Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village. There are special events throughout the summer like vintage baseball games, militia re-enactments, and battles on the green.

 

 

vintage baseball

 

 

 

 

Greenfield Village divided into 7 historic districts

 

 

militia

 

 

Opened to the public in 1933, Greenfield Village was the first outdoor museum complex. Nearly one hundred historical buildings were moved to the property from their original locations and arranged in a “village” setting. The museum’s intent is to show how Americans have lived and worked since the founding of the country. The Village includes buildings from the 17th century to the present, many of which are staffed by costumed interpreters who conduct period tasks like farming, sewing and cooking. A collection of craft buildings such as pottery, glass-blowing, and tin shops provide demonstrations while producing materials used in the Village and offered for sale.

 

 

 

pottery made here availabl e to buy

 

 

Greenfield Village has 240 acres (970,000 m) of land of which only 90 acres (360,000 m) are used for the attraction, the rest being forest, river and extra pasture for the sheep and horses. There are various modes of historic transportation in the Village providing rides for visitors, which utilize authentic Ford Model Ts, a 1931 Ford Model AA bus (one of about 15 known to exist), horse-drawn omnibuses, and trains pulled by steam locomotives.

 

 

omnibus

 

 

 

 

map

 

 


There are 7 districts in Greenfield Village:

  1. Working Farms (including The Firestone Farm, a carriage barn, a cider mill, and more)
  2. Liberty Craftworks (including a machine shop, glass making, a grist mill, sawmill, weaving, and more)
  3. Henry Ford Model T (Henry Ford’s childhood home, The Henry Ford Company Mack Avenue Plant, Henry Ford Theatre, and more)
  4. Railroad Junction (including a roundhouse, the Edison Illuminating Company’s Station A, a water tower, depot, and more)
  5. Main Street (including the Wright House, the Wright Brothers’ Cycle Shop, a millinery store, courthouse, chapel, post office, Scotch Settlement School and more)
  6. Edison at Work (including Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park complex, the boarding house where his workers lived, and Thomas Edison’s Ft. Myers lab)
  7. Porches & Parlors (including Ackley covered bridge, bandstand, Cotswold forge and stable, Edison homestead, George Washington Carver’s cabin, Noah Webster home, Robert Frost home, and so much more)

 

 

Vintage bikes

 

 

 

 

Let’s start with Henry Ford’s childhood home. Henry made sure it was decorated as it was during his mother’s life.

 

 

Henry Ford house

 

 

 

HF Henry Ford Home

 

 

 

 

Henry Ford Childhood Home

 

 


HF1 Henry Ford home bedroom

 

No visit to Greenfield Village is complete without visiting the Ford Motor Company and driving an antique car.

 

Ford Motor Co

 

Ford

 

 

 


15 millionth Ford vehicle

 

 

 

 

Ford Model T

 

 

District Model T

 

 

Ford Autos

 

 


Let’s go visit the working farms district.  Horses, sheep, fields, chopping wood, and all the things that made a farm work.

 

farm house and land

 

 

farm

 

 

farm animals

 

 

 

Percheron Horses

 

 

 

Explore the first Research & Development lab ever invented – The Edison Complex at Menlo Park, New Jersey. When Henry Ford decided to bring Edison’s historic Menlo Park laboratory to Greenfield Village, he faced a daunting task. In fact, he would have to salvage the remains of the estate—after Edison moved his operations to a larger facility in West Orange, New Jersey, in 1887, several of the buildings were destroyed by fire.

 

Explore first R & Dd lab ever invented - Labs at Menlo Park

 

 


 In 1928, to honor the life and work of his close friend Thomas Edison, Henry Ford began constructing a replica of the Menlo Park laboratory in Greenfield Village. Because there wasn’t much left of the original structure, Ford had to rely on the memory of now-elderly Edison and his associates to recreate the laboratory.   Great attention to detail was needed to portray the lab and its components even though some things are not to scale.  Mr. Ford even brought dirt from Menlo Park for the spot where the lab was constructed in Michigan.  It was oriented in a similar manner to the original structures in New Jersey and incorporated as much original material as could be found in the late 1920’s. The original Glass House and Sarah Boarding House were moved and added to the district as well as Edison’s Florida lab.

 

Menlo Park Labs

 

 

Main Street is a fun collection of antique Americana. The chapel is lovely.

 

chapel

 

 

Stroll the street and visit the court house.

 

 

main street

 

 

Perhaps the millinery shop will interest you.

 

 

Mrs D Cohen Hat Shop collage

 

 

Visit the Wright Brothers’ Home.

 

Wright Bros Home

 

 

See where they worked on early plane designs when not working in their Cycle Shop.

 

 

frame of Wright Bros plane

 

 

Wright Bros Bicycle Shop

 

Ride the train with an old Edison steam locomotive.

 

 

train

 

 

train ride

 

 

train station

 

 

In the Craftworks see the Tin Shop.

 

 

tin shop

 

 

Weaving, grist mill, and so much more.

 

weaver

 

 

mill

 

 


Last but not least is probably one of my favorite parts of Greenfield – the old homes.  I love the Cotswold Cottage from the U.K. and its cottage garden.

 

 

Cotswold cottage

 

 

Cotswold cottage garden

 

 

Cotswold Cottage and Garden

 

 

I hope you enjoyed our visit to Greenfield Village. The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village are a great place to take a vacation and experience history while having fun.

 

candy store

 

 

antique car

 

 

steam locomotive

 

 

 

Greenfield Village collage

 

 


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Carol

I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

31 thoughts to “A Visit to Greenfield Village & America’s Ingenuity”

  1. What a HUGE piece of history. I did not know about this place and all the history contained. It is so important that we have these places to teach future generations about America and it’s upbringing! I grew up with a Mama who loved history. We were a Navy family so moved around a lot. The four years stationed in the Washington, DC area was the best as far as the Smithsonian and all the history there plus drives to battlefields around the VA area and even to Gettysburg and beyond. But I am so glad you share this today. At my age, probably will not make it there so appreciate the fine photos to give me a glimpse. Thanks.

    1. I understand – I’ll never make it to the UK although I’ve wanted to go since I was a child. At this point in my life, I live vicariously through others’ beautiful photos. I’m so glad you liked my post. Wishing you a blessed day!

    1. If you are ever in the Midwest, you should take a couple of days for the museum inside and for Greenfield Village.

    1. If you come you should definitely do multi-days at the museum – 1 day inside Henry Ford Museum and at least 1 day in Greenfield Village

  2. These are the kind of places that I love to see. It’s so great that history is frozen in time there with so much to see and learn about! Thanks a lot for sharing this special place with us 🙂

    Your link at ‘My Corner of the World’ this week sure made my day!
    My Corner of the World

  3. Danke das ich auf den geschichtlichen Ausflug mit dabei sein durfte. Es war sehr interessant für mich.

  4. I remember how enjoyable it was to to visit Greenfield Village. It’s been a number of years ago, but I remember the kid enjoying the games and going to school in the one room school house. I remember how engrossed my hubby was at the blacksmith shop. It was over the 4th of July and we spent two days enjoying it! Thanks for the memories!!

  5. Carol – a fabulous overview of Greenfield Village. I remember taking the kids there – but I am pretty sure I had as much fun as they did. I love this type of working museum, where you can truly immerse yourself in the way things used to be. Thanks for sharing with everyone at Mosaic Monday!

  6. Hello, what a wonderful tour and photos of the village. Enjoy your day, wishing you a great new week ahead!

  7. I love historical places like that… Never heard of this one and will probably never have the opportunity to visit which makes it lovely to have seen it through your lens…thanks for that 🙂

  8. I love Greenfield Village and haven’t visited in years. I can’t wait for the day I can take our Baby Grands there — ride the train and all. I think it will be too big to do it all when they are still small but I might check into the membership. That’s a good idea for repeat visits! Your pix are great — you got me motivated!

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