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Officially called, "THE HENRY FORD"

The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village is the largest indoor/outdoor museum complex in the USA, visited by 1.6 million annually

sunny 80 °F

(Friday) After touring the River Rouge truck assembly plant I concentrated on the Henry Ford Museum. It is a beautiful building of early American Colonial motif covering 12 acres! under one roof. Inside, at the main entrance you walk down an elegant 600' corridor lined with dozens of chandeliers, both brass and crystal, hanging from the decorative ceilings. About every 50 yards is a walkway into the museum complex. There are 10 themed areas covering a collection of antique machinery, pop culture items, automobiles, locomotives, aircraft, and many other collections. The floors are all covered in varnished parquet wood laid in a herringbone pattern, 12 acres of it!! A few examples; in the Agriculture section field plows are displayed from the primitive horse-drawn to the massive machinery of today. In the Railroad section, the largest steam locomotive ever built, designed to haul iron ore and coal, is on railroad tracks inside along with other cars, such as, a railroad snow plow, an early refrigerated (by ice) car, and Henry Ford's luxury private car built by Pullman to Ford's specifications. He and his wife traveled throughout the country in it. The list goes on and on. The heart app on my i-Phone logged 3.2 miles walked that day!

(Saturday) It was back to THE HENRY FORD to tackle Greenfield Village, a 90 acre village of buildings collected by Henry Ford to represent the era in which he grew up and epitomized. It is a beautiful, serene place with an original covered-bridge, a toll shanty, a Town Hall, homes of famous people, Edison, Robert Frost, Heinz (ketchup) family and many others which he moved there. Log cabins (George Washington Carver's home), framed wood houses, even a stone Cotswold house was disassembled and brought over from England. Saturdays and Sundays in the summer a baseball game is played by teams who dress in period uniforms of the 1800's. They play by the official Baseball Rules of 1872, which are a little different from today's game. No gloves are used by the players, just bare hands to catch the hard ball. Ouch! It was fun to watch. It all started at the Town Hall where the teams gathered, the brass band played, the costumed dignitaries with their hoop-skirted ladies led the parade followed by the visiting public and all marched (by music) along the street to the ballpark. Later, at the Town Hall I attended a musical stage play featuring a quartet, two ladies & two men, who sang and danced to old tunes of the Rogers & Hammerstein era. The quality of the performers was superb, equal to what you experience at Walt Disney World. A visit to Greenfield Village would not have been complete without a ride in a 'Tin Lizzy'. So, I waited in line about 45 minutes to ride on one of the 9 Model T's ferrying guests through the village for the 7-8 minute ride. All 'T's are authentic originals and operate daily throughout the 9 month season at GV. Maintenance is performed on the cars at the end of each day, of course. It was a fun experience. On the grounds there is a railroad roundhouse with turning table used by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad in days past. Steam locomotives had to be serviced daily in one of these maintenance facilities. They were such complex machines used under such demanding tasks of pulling train cars loaded with incredible tonnage that their upkeep and repair was critical in operating the railroads. In my childhood in Heuvelton, NY I remember the steam locomotives coming through town, huffing & puffing, bellowing smoke and steam, and frightening all us kids in the neighborhood. I also remember the first diesel locomotive to arrive and what a strange, different look it had! That was in the early 1950's. Ogdensburg, a small city 7 miles from Heuvelton, was the terminus of both the New York Central RR and the Rutland RR line from Boston. The NY Central had a round house & turntable which I remember, also. Don't know about the Rutland and a turntable. As you can tell, I enjoyed my self as the visit to both museums brought back many memories. One could really spend 3 full days at the museums. My heart app recorded 3.7 miles walked at Greenfield Village! Tomorrow it's on to Lansing to see Michigan's Capitol.

Posted by dixter 04:43 Archived in USA Tagged museum visits

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Forget the Capital, tour the great Michigan State University in East Lansing. The campus is incredibly beautiful. Walk the Red Cedar River, see the rapids, pay homage to Sparty, and have a burger and beer at Paul Revere's. Great way to spend a day.

by kafera

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