Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Culmination of the Fall Harvest and the Beginning of the Christmas Season

My wife and I would like to invite you to join us on a Christmas journey to the past to an era long ago and far away...
So here it is, Thanksgiving Weekend, and while the poor souls are out scratching and clawing for that one special must-have plastic Christmas gift, I am taking it smooth and easy, strolling the streets of historic Villages while wearing clothing suitable to the fashions of 150 years ago.
To begin with, my annual Black Friday trek is not to the mall, but to my favorite place of solace, Greenfield Village.
What's really cool is that I count the presenters as my friends, and I am welcomed into each home with open-arms as I enter the historical structures that once belonged to famous and not-so-famous people of the past.
As I entered the Village gates and turned left onto the dirt pathway to Firestone Farm, I was greeted (bleeted?) by nearly two dozen sheep, all moving up to me as I walked past them.
All were staring directly at me and baa-ing the entire time as if they recognized me. As many times as I've seen these wooly creatures, they've never reacted like this. Then I found out that respond to people wearing period clothing (since that's what the Firestone farmhands wear). They thought I was part of the crew! Pretty cool, eh?

In October I posted THIS POST about the autumn harvest at Greenfield Village, as well as THIS POST a couple weeks after with a more extensive history lesson on the autumn harvest.
Well, the culmination of the fall harvest is the feast, better known now as Thanksgiving.
And it's at Firestone Farm that the visitor can witness the celebration of this traditional and ancient time and holiday as it was done in the 1880s.
Here, the ladies of Firestone Farm are preparing for the Thanksgiving meal.

Each woman had her role to play in getting this so important dinner prepared, just as was done in the 19th century.

Here are a couple of videos I took as the presenters explain the preparation process.

And finally, the meal is ready to be served.

The aroma emanating from this feast was simply delectable! How I wish I could have joined the presenters! Ah...maybe one day, if I cry hard enough and hold my breath I'll get a chance. Ha! Yeah, right!

Here are a few more videos to give the viewer an idea of what it's like to spend time in the Firestone Farm kitchen during such a day:

My Firestone Farm friends happily posed for me before they sat down to eat!

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present the Black Friday Firestone Farm crew - perhaps the luckiest presenters in the Village on this special day after Thanksgiving!

And here you have it - the culmination of the spring planting, summer caring, and fall harvest.
I begged, pleaded, held my breath til I turned blue in the face, and they STILL wouldn't throw me a crumb!
Ha! Just kidding! (They're, understandably, not allowed to!)
Thanks to all of you for the wonderful presentation you gave on this day!

From Firestone Farm I went to my other favorite historical building, the 1750 Daggett Farm Saltbox House.
I loved the way the front door looked with the lanterns in front.

And on the inside, Little Red Riding Hood went looking for her grandmother (LOL)

Over at the Ford home the lovely ladies were preparing for the upcoming Christmas season.
Where are you Christmas?
It's coming ladies - Holiday Nights is just around the corner!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The very next day a few of us ventured about an hour and a half northward near the city of Flint, Michigan, to another historical open-air museum known as Crossroads Village.
Though most that went were 21st Michigan members, this was not a 21st Michigan event. Attendees were by invitation only from Sandy Root, a very good friend and living historian extraordinaire, who was able to procure a number of tickets to this affair. 
A picture at my home before our journey north.

Before heading to Crossroads, Sandy invited us to her home for a gathering and a meal..
Yes, we posed for a photo at her house as well:

W-e-l-l...another friend posed for a couple of photos without even realizing she was posing:
Kristen was awfully tired, and struggled to stay awake. Unfortunately (for her) sleep won out.

Let's see..sound asleep with nary a budge from all the noise. Hmmm...what to do...what to do...heh heh heh

Yeah - leave it to Rebecca to have some Victorian fun!
 Oh we are a crazy bunch, aren't we?

Off to Crossroads Village!
Rather than pursuing a more historical feel, Crossroads, instead, goes after a more decorative, rather modern look, using probably over a million Christmas lights for the effect they strive for.
In the summertime you would be looking at a very authentic Victorian scene, but come Christmastime - - - - -

But being the living historians we are, we were able to naturally turn an electrically lighted path into a scene right out of 1864! Well, kinda...

The 1854 Buzzell home was also decorated quite festively, but with a bit more of a period flare (though I do not believe the outside of the houses were decorated in this manner in the 19th century). Here we have gathered upon the porch to sing a carol or two.

Oh what fun it was to sing a sleighing song that night!

We also went inside the 1870s Fox House where Sandy played the piano while everyone sang more carols such as Angels We Have Heard on High.

It was wonderful being in that 19th century parlor, doing what probably was done 140 years earlier.

Every-so-often I try to get a little "artsy" with my photographs. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. I think this kinda works.

Samantha looks very festive for the holidays, doesn't she?

Rebecca and her fancy bonnet are quite festive as well.

The dapper gentleman and his lady prepare to welcome guests for Christmas.

Mrs. Folcarelli sets a spell before boarding the train.

This is my wife and I in the parlor of the Buzzell house. The folks were kind enough to allow us inside the sectioned off area for this photograph. ~(If you look at the top of this post you will see another picture very similar to this one)~

Yep - everything looks just right! We're ready for the train station!
We were placed in a car built in the 1890s. It was held solely for us - no modernites sat in our section!

The car we were in was not only built in the 1890s, but it was originally for folks who traveled in 1st class. The ride was loads of fun, as you can tell by these two smiling ladies!

  We all enjoyed singing carols during the 45 minute train ride. Beckie enjoyed her own reflection.

Mr. and Mrs. Root - the hosts of the evening's adventurous enjoyment! My hat is off to them for giving a few of us a wonderful start to what promises to be a fine Christmas season!

And here, again, is my wife and I, enjoying the season and being in the company of such good people as you have seen pictured in this posting.

I took a "front" and "back" of my wife, Patty, and our good friend Beckie to show off Beckie's sewing talent. It was she who made both paletots you see here.

The flipside of the photo - beautiful work Beckie! (I commissioned Beckie to make Patty's as a Christmas gift for her in 2013. My wife LOVED it!)

As I often portray Kristen's father during immersion events, I many times find myself at the brunt of her many wants, especially at Christmas time!

"These are but shadows of the things that have been," said the Ghost...

"...They have no consciousness of us."
A final group picture before we were to travel back to the future...until next "time."

And we enter the time-machine that will wisk us from 1864 to 2014 - - - - - -
Ground control to Major Tom...




Linda said...

What a fascinating blog you have, and your photos are lovely!

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