Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Fascinated By Things Not of This Time: My Spring & Summer Visits to Greenfield Village

Historic Greenfield Village in Dearborn,  Michigan is only open from April through December,   leaving about three and a half months being cold and desolate.  But that is the time the workers can do the major cleaning,  repairs,  make any small changes necessary,  and plan future events.  Also,  this is when new hires are trained and fitted for period clothing.
So,  you don't have to guess that I try and visit as much as I am able during  "open season."
And during my visits I take an awful lot of photos.  I may take a half-dozen photos of the same thing at a slightly different angle just to get the right look I am striving for.  But mostly I simply play tourist with my point and shoot Sony camera.
I thought for today's post I would show a few of some of my favorite shots taken during this year of 2019,  beginning with the April 12 opening day through Labor Day - roughly spring through summer.
Now these pictures are really in no historical order;  they do not necessarily tell a story other than the fact the images are historical in nature.  Think of them as peering at a photo album.  Or maybe spying through a portal into the past,  for as the title of this post states,  I am truly fascinated by things not of this time.
Let's begin with opening day:  April 12
'Twas a cloudy cool day,  but the scenes from the past just seemed to jump right out begging to be photographed, such as the horse and carriage preparing to clip-clop through the 1831 Ackley Covered Bridge.

The Daggett break-back  (saltbox)  house  (built in 1750)  and the Farris Windmill  (from 1633). absolute favorite.

A couple of farmers representing early 20th century.

Which one for dinner?

Springtime plowing at Firestone Farm

In the early morning hours of April 19,  1775,  Abel Prescott,  the
brother of Samuel Prescott,  who was one of the warning riders 

that rode with none other than Paul Revere himself,  pounded 
upon this very door to warn Thomas Plympton,  a 
member of the Provincial Congress,  who lived in this house in 
Sudbury,  Massachusetts,  that the British Regulars were on the march!
Yeah...that's me in the picture below  sort of playing the role of Abel Prescott...254 years to the day.  

At the very same door...
It gives me chills.

I've never visited Greenfield Village on Easter Sunday before,  for my family always celebrated Easter on the day itself.  Also,  many times this most important of holidays usually falls before the Village's official opening day.  So I took advantage of this rarity,  and since now that my family celebrates Easter on Saturday,  that left Sunday free to go to church and then to visit Greenfield Village.
Easter Sunday
Upon entering the Village,  it felt  like Easter.  The weather was spring-like,  many people were  (as was said in the old days)  gaily dressed,  and the joyous Easter feeling from long ago was in the air.

Easter Sunday
The Village Green with the Martha-Mary Chapel centered beautifully.

Easter Sunday
If you look closely,  you can see the horses and carriage

Easter Sunday
Lest you think such a place might not be busy on Easter Sunday,  
here you go.

Easter Sunday
An Easter meal at the Daggett House

Easter Sunday
Preparing for the Easter celebration at the Edison Cottage, 

representing life in 1915

Easter Sunday
Preparing for the Easter celebration at the Edison Cottage, 
representing life in 1915

Now we'll head into May:
Rebecca cards wool in Daggett's great hall

The kitchen door 

Early May
Anna Daggett digging her kitchen garden

At the end of May those of us who reenact the Civil War take part in one of the largest reenactments in the area.  I did a blog posting about that event HERE,  and included are sixty one pictures,  so there is no need to include any from that event in today's post.  But click the link if you are interested in checking it out.

So now we shall move into the month of June:
Preparations for Independence Day celebrations are 
under way at the Eagle Tavern,  built in 1830.

The Wright Brothers House - the one and the same in which 
Orville and Wilbur lived during the time in 1903 that they 
invented and flew the first real working aeroplane.

Dinner time bell is rung at Firestone Farm

Now we are into July:
The back-breaking work of using a scythe.
And that is the Firestone farmhouse there,  originally built in 
1828 with an addition added on in the early 1880s.

Inside the Firestone Farmhouse we see the dining room 
as it looks in the morning hours.

I love the contrast between the wheat and the buckwheat

My lovely wife and I with one of our most favorite of presenters,  
Mrs. Dillard  (affectionately known as  "Mama Jean"  to her friends and fans).

Firestone Farm pigs!

By July,  the Daggett House kitchen garden really took off.

Mr. Daggett and daughter Tabitha having a bit
of flax fun.

The J. R. Jones General Store, built in 1854.

In the morning.

A greeter on the porch of the Eagle Tavern.

Inside the original kitchen of the Eagle Tavern.
Yes,  that is its original hearth you see here - the same hearth 

that the guests' food was once cooked over.

Greeting the Day at the Daggett House.

We see one of the Daggett daughters 

gathering early harvest greens.

Baby I'm a dreamer,  found my horse and carriage.

 I had a bit of fun with the next couple of pictures:
A couple of customers to the General Store noticed
the quality vegetables recently picked.

I asked the presenters for a pose,  and they certainly gave me a great one!

After a hard day on the Firestone Farm in the sitting room.

Looking at the pond that runs  'neath the Ackley Covered Bridge.

Labor Day signals the end of summer,  though technically there still remains three weeks left.
Yet...tradition reigns...
Labor Day
A scene from before there was a Labor Day holiday as the horse 

and carriage move past the JR Jones General Store.

Labor Day
Over at Firestone Farm,  the late summer harvest continues.

Labor Day
A Canadian goose flies over the heirloom apple trees 

in the Firestone orchard.
Glad I had my camera ready.

Labor Day
Peeping 'round the door - - in the 18th century.

Labor Day
The morning sun in the Daggett lean-to kitchen glows.

Labor Day
A kitchen sink inside the Ford house
representing 1876.
No running water.

September 7
Okay,  so I am cheating a little with this picture.  It was taken a
week after Labor Day during the Old Car festival when the 

Village was opened until 9:00.  I was able to capture the Daggett 
Farm in the night time.  
The little bit of candle light in the window?  
Well,  I'm not kidding when I say the Daggetts still live there!
Visiting Greenfield Village is my solace against the modern world.  I can walk through nearly 300 years of history here and learn something new at each turn.  My journey through the past is comparable to those who love to walk through nature.  It's my place of peace.  I can find God there just as I may find Him in a church. 


Please understand - - I took hundreds upon hundreds of pictures during these five months.  I just went through and chose those that stood out to me the most for this posting.
And don't worry about September through December,  for,  believe me,  you will see plenty of those coming up here soon.

Until next time, see you in time.

To learn more about these other historic structures inside Greenfield Village:
Firestone Farm,  click HERE
Daggett House,  click HERE
Plympton House,  click HERE
Giddings House,  click HERE
The Ackley Covered Bridge,  click HERE
The Eagle Tavern,  click HERE
Doc Howard's Office,  click HERE
The Home of Noah Webster,  click HERE
Richart Carriage Shop,  click HERE
How and why Henry Ford preserved the buildings, click HERE

~   ~   ~

No comments: