People in the 1930s must have thought Henry Ford crazy. Here he was, moving all these old, useless buildings near his factory. Why would he move his old house to this place? Or the Wright brothers’ shop? Or an old saw mill?
We certainly are thankful that his forward thinking gave us Greenfield Village. We thought we’d explore for the morning and return home before the heat of the day. Hindsight says we were crazy. We had no idea how big this place was. We arrived about 9:30 in the morning, and started exploring the farm houses. We learned about old weaving techniques, pottery making, printing by way of printing press, tin shaping, and glass blowing, all done by museum workers, some dressed to the part, others not. I was amazed how creative they had to get to make things… and how we now-a-days couldn’t do what they did. For instance, a water-powered mill. You’d have to get so many approvals from the government. For instance, a building permit for the mill. A permit to dam a river/creek/stream for the water. A permit for the business of milling. Back then, they just did it.
The roundhouse and trains came next. Some of the wrenches they have to use are as long as my arm. The turntable was huge… and a 6-year old could push it with a train on it, it was so perfectly balanced. Stopping it wasn’t quite as easy. The engines were huge. After the train area, it was lunch time.
We moved on the the downtown area after lunch. The afore-mentioned Ford Farmhouse was bigger than it looked from the outside. Fun fact: Mr. and Mrs. Ford (Henry’s parents) slept in separate bedrooms so Mr. wouldn’t wake Mrs. when he went to work on the farm! Next door was the workshop of the Wrights. The bikes took up most of the space. Where the gliders where build was simply a small addition
off the back. Another Fun Fact: Only 65 years after the Wrights flew, Neil Armstrong was on the moon. That’s some fast inventing!
After a stop in the Milliners (the hatter wasn’t mad, if you were wondering), we moved on to the town square, a bit before the start of 1859 baseball. We tried out some stilts while I waited for the start of the game. Some interesting rules: the hitter’s plate wasn’t where you scored, the base was a pole, and there were no foul balls. Oh, and you had to hit the runner with the ball to put him out. I didn’t care, it was almost baseball, and it was fun. We finished the day off by watching a production featuring music by George Gershwin.
Yes, Mr. Ford, you were crazy. Crazy smart. Except for one thing. Why does every car need to be black?