Friday, November 19, 2021

Greenfield Village 2021: The Autumn Visits - September, October, November

Some people have said there is no better place to see fall than at historic Greenfield Village.
I concur.
Now,  I know we still have plenty of Fall left,  but Thanksgiving is nigh,  welcoming the Christmas season,  which,  for me,  changes everything.  Yes,  Christmas is a season in itself.
But for now,  let us welcome Fall.


You will see a mish-mosh of different photographs in today's posting,  for it actually begins in late summer - fall doesn't start until around September 21st,  as you probably know - and the season in this posting carries us through most of  November,  when the feeling becomes more winter-like than autumn.
Fall is my favorite time of year and I really begin to think about it in August when the hint of harvest time wafts through the air  (as you will see toward the end of THIS post).
But I have a sheer bout of actual giddiness when the  "ber"  months arrive:  September,  October,  and November.
In September I always take my annual Labor Day visit to the Village.  I started this tradition around four or five years ago,  and it's been a good one for me,  for,  in a way,  it's sort of like my own personal Lammas Day which actually takes place on August 1 when many colonial farmers began celebrating the fall harvest;  Lammas Day  (or Loaf Mass Day)  marked the first major harvest of what was once considered to be the beginning of the fall season. 
So,  as I said,  coming to Greenfield Village on Labor Day was like my own personal Lammas Day.
Let's begin there:
The first farm we see is the birthplace of the Village's founder - and the founder of the Ford Motor Company:  Henry Ford.  Ford lived and worked on this farm until he was a teenager,  when he moved to the nearby big city of Detroit to learn a trade and get away from farming.

The fence surrounding the Ford Farm remains patriotically dressed in
red,  white,  and blue bunting for most of the summer season and into early fall.

Here we are looking toward the front Firestone Farm field...and besides corn
I see the little red cider mill in the distance.

This cider mill is a replicated 19th century mill that was constructed inside of Greenfield Village in 1937 to conform with the 19th century cider making machinery Henry Ford had in his collection.  This equipment originally came from Martinsville,  Michigan.   Demonstrations of pressing apples into cider took place here every fall for many years up until the 1990s.
Sweet and hard cider,  as well as cider vinegar,  were important orchard byproducts essential to the economy of rural communities.  In the 1800's,  farmers could haul their apples to cider mills like this one to have them ground and pressed into cider,  which was much safer to drink than water,  and because of that,  cider was the most popular drink of the 19th century.

Ahhh...there it is!
My favorite house inside Greenfield Village!
Can you say Daggett?

Okay...I'm getting a little artsy here with these two pictures.

And inside the great hall of Daggett we see Jan spinning on her wheel.

Preparing their winter wood.

A bit later in September and we can see fall is well on its way at the Daggett House
and their kitchen garden.

We had very un-fall-like weather during the month of  September.
Summer decided to stay with us for a bit.

April of 2022 will be an exciting month at Greenfield Village,  for upon re-opening for the new season we will be able to witness the grand opening of their latest historical addition - the first one since 2000:  a 19th century farmer's market!
"In the 19th century, the Detroit Central Farmers Market was a community center for purchasing fresh-cut flowers,  fresh produce and more.  This Vegetable Market building provided shelter to dozens of market gardeners,  florists,  and truck farmers who rented stalls at Central Market in Detroit.  It was located on Michigan Grand Avenue between Bates and Randolph Streets until 1894.  As the historic vegetable shed is rebuilt in Greenfield Village,  we aim to preserve and draw attention to slow food culture in an urban environment.  Opening in spring 2022 with a spring flower market,  the vegetable shed will highlight growers,  their stories,  practices and agriculture knowledge."
This is exciting for all of us...and we get to watch the rebuilding of the restored structure!

Also during the later part of September Greenfield Village hosts an Old Car Festival,  which I enjoy greatly.  And it's on the Saturday of this event that the Village remains open until 9:30 - clear until dark!
And that gives us a great opportunity for some pretty cool night time camera shots:
This looks like a scene right out of  the early 1900s.
Please note these two cyclists are next to the Wright Cycle Shop - yes,  the very same one that Orville and Wilbur Wright owned and made the first light-than-air aeroplane in the back room in 1903!

Not moon over Miami,  but moon over Dearborn.
To be about Harvest moon over the Ford home!

And the moon over Dearborn's replicated Independence Hall, 
which truly was replicated in every way: 
  Henry Ford had his copy of the National Treasure building built exactly 
in the same architectural style as 
the current one in Philadelphia,  and he spared no expense in doing so,  
including the same mistakes of the original,  such as the windows in the 
tower being slightly off center by a couple inches.
And the bricks came from the same brickmaker.
How's that for a replication?

And now we are at the very end of  September - my last time visiting the Village for nearly two months - and fall can be seen quite plainly:
The Daggett woodpile is growing.
Of course it is---the month of October they are planning multiple days of showing harvest activities.  Plus in just a few months Holiday Nights takes place. 
Wood is needed for both.

In fact,  here we see Roy preparing to make a fire,  possibly for soap making...
...or perhaps to brew beer.

Here at September's end the garden at the Edison cottage has a fall flare to it.
That's the beautifully picturesque Ackley Covered Bridge,  built in 1832, 
in the background.

Fall trees behind the Chapman House.
The what?
The Chapman House.
Mr. Chapman is said to have been Henry Ford's first teacher, 
and this was his home,  built in 1860.
Aside from being able to enter the old house and seeing the 19th century 
furniture,  nothing is really done here.  It's just...there.  
I suppose it would be tough to present inside...but I wish they'd try.
Not trying to sound down,  but it's an easy structure to pass by after witnessing 
the activities of Firestone,  Ford,  Daggett,  and other historic buildings.

A side view of the Firestone Farm,  from the 1880s.

And some of the early harvest in the Firestone cellar.
By mid-October this cellar gets pretty full.

One of the heirloom apple trees in the Firestone Farm apple orchard.
This year they planted a new generation of  trees of the ancient fruit.

I've already mentioned in previous posts that I was very sick in October and was out of commission the entire month.
Yes,  seriously ill.
But toward the end of October I began feeling better...a little better one day at a time,  and really started feeling well come November.  Not perfect,  mind you,  but well enough to feel like living again and doing things I love.
After being seriously ill,  this was a sight for sore eyes!

If I see something appealing in a different way,
I try to capture it.
This is one of those scenes...or perhaps a sort of vignette.

The sun shining through the tree near the Wright Brothers Home.

Well,  you know where I'm heading to,  right?
Yep,  we see Susquehanna to the right,  the little red Plympton House centered,
the Farris windmill,  then the Daggett House.

The first time I set foot inside this mid-1700s home back in 1983,  I fell in love with it:  the architectural style,  the great hall,  the parlor,  and,  of course,  the kitchen.  And,  over these many years that I have revisited,  the presenters,  going all the way back to my first time there,  helped to bring the house and its time to life in so many ways.  From candle dipping to hearth cooking to spinning to beer making to soap making to kitchen garden care - planting,  caring for,  and harvesting -  to processing flax and wool to numerous other crafts and chores seen over the years - they bring this house and its time to life.
Welcome to 1760!
Now let's take this history just a bit further...just imagine...the Daggetts,  who lived in this house,  were once living human beings like us and not just characters in a book.  They had feelings the same as we do:  they felt happiness,  sadness,  fear,  anger,  pain,  concern,  and contentment.  They celebrated the coming of spring and of  the harvest time.  They enjoyed church picnics and weddings,  and certainly mourned the loss of loved ones,  whether friends or family.  They spoke of their crops,  the weather,  told stories,  and studied the Bible.  One can only imagine the discussions and probably even debates they had of the news of the day - how wonderful it would be to be able to hear conversations and opinions about Paul Revere's famous ride  (for it actually did make the papers/broadsides throughout much of  the colonies at the time),  of the Revolutionary War itself,  their thoughts on the Declaration of Independence,  the forming of the new nation with its own Constitution,  and hearing of George Washington becoming our first president  as it was happening!  I mean,  if the Daggett house walls had ears,  they most certainly would have heard at least some talk about these great events. 
Yes,  if the walls could talk...
Think about your own debates inside your own home,  whether it's about politics,  the pandemic & vaccinations,  the current inflation,  or perhaps the robots the United States has placed on Mars.  
The topics may have changed somewhat,  but discussions still rage on.
Jane  &  Gigi were both working with yarn here on this gray November day while
a fire roared in the fireplace.

Framing the frames which are framing the beauty of autumn.
The window frame you see here is over 250 years old!

I noticed the silhouetted candle and holder next to the window, 
and I liked the way it looked blackened against the daytime sky.
I wonder if they've ever lit it?
I think it would look pretty awesome if they did - from inside and out.

I usually spend extra time inside the Daggett House - generally more time than any other structure there - but I always back off when other visitors show up.  I,  in no way,  wish to take away from anyone's visit,  so I may head into the kitchen and then out to the garden,  then oftentimes will find my way back inside.  Sometimes this can pay off,  for one can see the presenters suddenly take on a chore or do something one does not often see,  even something mundane like sweeping a floor of autumn leaves can become picturesque:
Gigi decided to sweep up the fallen leaves that had found their way
into the great hall and parlor,  and moved the candle stand
in order to get behind it.

I was taken - smitten,  rather - by the natural lighting effects that give
this photo of Gigi almost an 18th century painting feel. 
I must have snapped about a dozen pictures of this subject!
Sometimes the gray skies of autumn can create a look
no other time of the year can do.

And as Gigi found her way from the parlor to the great hall I continued snapping away.
Yep---even mundane chores can be interesting while the subject is in
period clothing while immersed in a historic setting.

Just outside the Daggett door we see the Plympton House,  which is nearly 50 years
older than the Daggett House.

If you are a regular reader of Passion for the Past,  then you may be aware that a few of us have been able to utilize a log cabin to put into practice our historical knowledge.
This is not that cabin.
This is the McGuffey Cabin from about 1789.

Then there is the wonderful Eagle Tavern,  built in 1831 along a Michigan road for
those immigrants heading westward  (and for the few returning back east).
They still serve period-correct meals of the mid-19th century here with
servers and greeters dressed in the fashions of 1850.

The Martha-Mary Chapel,  built from remnants of an old family home:
the bricks and the doors came from the building in which Henry Ford and Clara Bryant were married in 1888 - the Bryant family home in old Greenfield Township  (from which the Village name was taken) - and the bell in the steeple,  according to the 1936 guide book,  was cast by the son of Paul Revere. 
The name  "Martha-Mary"  came from the first names of his mother and mother-in-law.

In early November we had a Sunday filled with snow flurries.  Nothing that really stuck on the ground or anything.  But the first snowfall of the year always seems a bit magical,  especially if you happen to be at Greenfield Village.
Unfortunately,  I was not.  I had previous plans with my family.
However,  there were plenty of visitors who had showed up and took some pretty amazing pictures,  some of which I am using here.
In this photograph taken by Karen Perry we see the flurries a-flying as the 
horse and carriage moves up to the 1854 JR Jones General Store,  
originally located in Waterford,  Michigan.
A snowfall during the time that Greenfield Village still has its daytime hours is somewhat rare,  so,  in many cases,  as long as the roads are not too slippery,  oftentimes visitors will flock to the Village to enjoy a somewhat winter scene in the past,  such as what you see here.
Flurries or a full snow fall – either way,  historic Greenfield Village becomes 
that much more magical.

Ed Davis,  who took this picture,  and I both agree that the Daggett House is our favorite!

I do plan another visit or two before the Village closes its gates for daytime visits.  This means I will most likely have more fall photos to share.  And I will be at one of the Holiday Nights nights in December for this wonderful timeline of 300 years of Christmas season celebrations. know I enjoy taking loads of photos there as well.
I only wish they were open during the winter months of January,  February,  and March.
Alas,  they are not.
But I will look forward to its re-opening in mid-April,  which for us  "Village People"  is akin to baseball's opening day,  for the build up is every bit as strong with anticipating,  that's for sure.
Stay tuned for another fall in the past at Greenfield Village coming soon - - - - 
Until next time,  see you in time.

~   ~   ~

1 comment:

Lady Locust said...

Oh, I think the Chapman house is perfect! I like the little old houses - as long as the fire keeps it warm (yea, I know they weren't that great.) It's a darling house. Looking forward to the Christmas season this year more than last year even.