Me? I am a Fall person (in case you hadn't noticed), and I so look forward to this time of year more than any other season. I've been this way a lifetime - there's no changing me now.
Away from the metro-Detroit area, Michigan is mostly a rural state, and fall color tours are in great abundance and demand. But, to me, nothing emits an Autumn flavor like historic Greenfield Village. No, it's not necessarily rural, for it represents a Village from days of old, showing houses and buildings from the 1600s through the early 1900s in a more, shall we say, period urban setting. But there are wonderful examples of ruralness such as Firestone Farm and Daggett Farm. So there is a little bit of everything for the fan of fall AND the fan of history. To top it off, the trees throughout Greenfield Village give off exuberant colors, and with the historic homes in the background, it is the perfect storm of autumn.
With that being said...as the title of this posting states, I did visit the Village on a couple of October mornings...
|...are you ready to go back?|
|From the kitchen doorway of the Ford home peaking out toward the kitchen garden. It is fall and the fruits of the labor of growing a sustainable garden are looked forward to and enjoyed.|
|See the school?|
See the steeple?
One teaches students,
the other teaches all people.
For the past few years I have been studying farm life of the 18th and 19th centuries, and I have to say I find it fascinating. To think all of what our ancestors had to do to survive! And it took the entire family to make it work, for each member was just as necessary as the other to ensure success.
Each season of farm life has its own chores and jobs, but none were as rewarding as harvest time in the fall. But these cooler months weren't only about food - it was also about winter preparation.
Hey - - there the Daggett Saltbox House, sitting amidst God's beauty!
|I took this photo of the Daggett House a few years back, and it's got to be one of my favorite fall-depicting images.|
|A scene right out of America's colonial past...that could be Samuel right there!|
Now, these next few photographs are based around the birthplace of famed horticulturalist Luther Burbank (think the Burbank Potato - - yep, that's him!). It's truly unfortunate that Greenfield Village does not utilize this wonderful example of early 19th century Americana in a more proper way. Instead of "dressing it up" in the era of when Burbank lived here - or even during the time it was built...1800 - it is used mainly, it seems, for arts & crafts projects for visitors. It's almost treated as if its in the way for them - they just don't seem to know what to do with it.
Well, I say bring it back to its original glory and allow visitors to enjoy it for the historical home it is.
|The 1800 home of Luther Burbank is set in picturesque surroundings and really shines when flanked by the beautiful fall colors.|
The next few pictures center on the Eagle Tavern, built in 1831 in Clinton, Michigan.
|When Henry Ford was planning out his Village, he wanted to have a village green similar to those he had seen in New England, and bordering this green would be a church, a town hall, a general store, and a tavern.|
|I'm not sure why the outdoor lamps encircling the green were on, but I'm glad they were, for they did add to the whole ambiance of recreating the past.|
|And so did the horses and omnibuses. But...if you look closely you can see four lit lamps in this picture, almost giving the feeling of evening rather than late morning.|
|One of my favorite scenes occurs when I step into the 1831 Ackley Covered Bridge, for what awaits the visitor on the other side is pure autumn magic...|
|On a particular warm fall day, a ride in a surrey was a welcome respite from all the walking. And then seeing the corn shocks at Susquehanna as the horses clip-clopped around the bend gave me the same sight and sound experience of times long past.|
|Americana history abounds in this picture, with the white picket fence and the homes of Robert Frost and Noah Webster shining in the back ground.|
The wondrous season of autumn in itself has a tendency to make everything look old...wooden...and, dare I say, traditional. Many houses in my neighborhood have fireplaces, and on these cooler days one can see smoke billowing out of the chimneys.
"So why do you go to Greenfield Village to enjoy the fall then, Ken?" you ask.
I really can't tell you why for certain, except that I immerse myself into it because it is history and, thus, historical. I do the same whether I am practicing the craft of living history, reading a history book, or watching a quality period movie or TV series. Seeing the Daggett Home, Firestone Farm, McGuffey Cabin, or any number of the historic structures relocated here engulfed in the reds, golds, orange, browns, and even a touch of left over green leaves brings out the best of autumn...of old autumn...and I can almost see what our ancestors did.
|Because it's Greenfield Village, that's why!|
Again, that's the way I am and the way I've always been.
And I'm not going to change.
Need I say more?
|Crossing the bridge through time...|
To experience a time-line journey through autumn at Greenfield Village, click HERE
To learn about autumn harvest in Colonial times, click HERE
For a general overview about harvest time in the 18th & 19th centuries, click HERE