Friday, October 27, 2023

Celebrating Autumn & Harvest At Greenfield Village - 2023

Is there a better time of year than fall?
Is there a better place for fall than Greenfield Village?
Fall centers at Greenfield Village,  I think you may agree.


Many tend to not think of Greenfield Village as an agricultural open-air museum.
But it is.
In fact,  once you make it through the vast amount of photos in today's post,  I think you'll agree that it centers as much on farming,  farm life,  and rural living as anything else.  I mean,  in those days of long ago,  nearly everyone - city or country - farmed...or at the very least,  had a kitchen garden.
Of course,  being that the entirety of the museum centers  (mostly)  on 18th & 19th century life,  even city folk in days of old can seem rural to us.
This is the front & back of a booklet handout I have from 2009~
It was when Greenfield Village was promoting and celebrating bringing 
"to life more than three centuries of food traditions through authentic experiences and products inspired by America's Food heritage."
I've always very much enjoyed the agricultural aspects of Greenfield Village most of all.

More often than not,  when I put on my period clothing I portray an 18th century farmer,  so due to the research I've done on that subject,  harvest time has become so important to me,  much more than I ever could've imagined.  Yes,  even in our modern age.
I love the 1840 Daniel Webster quote on this sign.
This book is proof of his statement.

.     .     .

I cannot imagine autumn without visiting historic Greenfield Village to see the many harvest activities taking place.   Then there's the beauty that is  autumn.  Greenfield Village literally taught me about the importance of fall and of harvest more than anywhere or anyone else.   Oh,  of course I knew about harvest time beforehand,  but the Village  "put it on the map"  for me  (so to speak)  in a way that mere words or books simply cannot do.  I can remember it was in the mid-1980s when I first began to frequent the Village often during these months of  the year.  They had recently restored and opened Firestone Farm and were putting all of their energy into this  "living history re-creation of life on a farm of the 1880s in Eastern Ohio."   Speaking with the workers back then,  they laid out the future plans to me on how they were going to present history in such a living manner.  "Visitors to the farm will see activities that change throughout the year:  spring planting and housekeeping,  summer chores with crops and livestock,  and fall harvesting and preparation for the winter.  In the house,  the barn,  and the fields,  there is always work to be done."  (1989 guidebook).  
And in the 2013 Fall Flavor Weekend handout we read about their cooking,  threshing,  cider pressing,  and plowing activities.  
Just a few years before Firestone was brought to Greenfield Village,  the colonial Daggett House was restored on the opposite end,  and this was where they  "recreated activities of a rural household of the 1700s.  They spin their own wool and spend much time with food preparation,  making meals at an open hearth,  and tending their garden."  (1992 guidebook).  And then we read,  in the 2014 Fall Flavor Weekend handout:  "The ladies are getting ready to serve up some onion pie,  sausages,  potato cake,  dressed vegetables,  and a pupton of apples for dessert.
Learn the step-by-step process of brewing beer 18th century style at the Daggett Farmhouse.  A hogshead or two may ease you through the harsh winter."
And in between these two houses and eras we would walk through time and witness all kinds of cooking of period foods and treats as well as the differing harvest activities past.
Well,  though the Village is not,  unfortunately,  quite as active as it once was during harvest time,  it is still the place to be during these months of autumn,  for there are few photographic experiences in our area as historically beautiful as Greenfield Village during this time of year,  with the ancient structures all lined along the streets,  backdropped with the variety of trees showing their colorful glory.


It's early September - school is now in session.
Or is it?
In the 19th century,  districts organized their calendars around the needs of the community.  Before 1900,  most rural schools had two terms of schooling during the year–summer term from May until August and the winter term from November through April.  It wasn't until after 1900 that nine-month school terms from September to May came into effect,  as the country became less agricultural.
However,  there are still rural districts that have terms more conducive to the farming community schedule.

Let's continue our visit - week by week:
Well,  it's here - my favorite season of the year.
I find it pretty entertaining that so many get angry if I even hint at anything autumn while it's still supposedly summer.  It could be one minute before the clock strikes Fall,  and they'll still be,  like,  "It's still summer!"
But me?  I follow the  “Meteorological Fall” - once September comes,  it's fall. 
So,  since the first month of harvest technically is August,  we're going to begin with a few pictures from that month to show how the changes from summer to fall occur on Earth's time - not man's calendar time.
One of the Village's best-kept secrets is how agricultural it actually is.  Historically  agricultural.  In fact,  As you have seen in that old Village handout I posted above it plainly states in large letters  "Rooted in the American Farm."  
So we'll begin this post with August 31,  the last day before the  "ber"  ( or  "burr!")  months arrive.
This photo of a horse and carriage moving past the Birthplace  (home)  of Henry Ford  (b.  1861)  was taken the last day of August.  You can clearly see seasonal change
already was in the air.

My first stop nearly every visit is almost always down at the Daggett Farm.
If I was living in the last half of the 18th century,  this would probably not only be the kind of house I would be living in,  but my lifestyle would more than likely be very similar to Samuel Daggett and his neighbors.
Greenfield Village has the Daggett House and its presenters representing the 1760s.  It's here where we get to witness a variety of chores  and activities of the time from both men & women,  including the making of a well sweep. 
(Click well sweep
 for more information on this task)

Roy was also preparing for the upcoming cooler weather by chopping wood for warmth as well as for cooking...and for beer brewing & the dyeing of wool.

While in the kitchen - - - - 
...we see Ruth preparing a meal with vegetables fresh from the kitchen garden!
Harvesting from the kitchen garden can actually begin as early as late May or June with asparagus,  but generally,  most vegetables are ready in mid-to-late July.  By late August,  nearly everything is coming up,  aside from some root vegetables.

Herbs and other items are being dried at the window.

One of the items I saw hanging in the great hall was this corn broom.
I've not seen one of this sort before.
The corn husks are pressed into holes drilled in the birch branch.
Brought to you by the autumn harvest!
There are numerous books that do a fine telling of colonial life,  and one of my favorites is The Cabin Faced West by Jean Fritz,  a book I bought as a child  (and still own my original copy!).   In fact,  The Cabin Faced West was,  perhaps,  the catalyst for my love of all things early American.  This book gives a pretty accurate account of everyday life in the wilderness that eventually became western Pennsylvania ca 1780's and includes farming and family and how one family survived out on what was the frontier in those old colony days. 
Written for the younger set but definitely can be enjoyed by older folks.
Oh,  and I would be remiss if I didn't mention this filmed docudrama,  which,  from what I was told,  used to be shown to Daggett workers many years ago:  A Midwife's Tale.

Throughout summer and then into fall I visited Greenfield Village pretty much every Thursday.  I don't recall ever going weekly so consistently like that.  I suppose that's what retired people can do!  
With it only being August 31,  the changes are still more subtle at the 18th century Giddings House.  But the leaves they are a-changin'!
Back about a decade ago,  rural Daggett would tell visitors to make sure they went to the 18th century urban Giddings to see how city folk of the time lived.  And vice versa - from Giddings to Daggett.  That was quite a history lesson!

Taken August 31...
The 1830s Loranger Gristmill from Monroe,  Michigan.
Once your wheat has been harvested and threshed,  it was off to the gristmill to have it
ground into flour.  Summer wheat,  planted in the spring,  would have been harvested in July.   Then the wheat planted in late spring or early summer would be harvested in fall.
Here is a same-spot picture taken four weeks later.
What a difference a month makes~
...September 28
When the season changes from summer to fall,  the change is probably more noticeable than any other.

But for the next few photos,  it is still the last day of August - - and we are continuing down the pathway to 1880s Firestone Farm.
See the little red building in this country scene?  This is known as the Martinsville Cider Mill,  and is a replicated 19th century mill that was constructed inside of Greenfield Village in 1942 to conform with the actual 19th century cider making machinery from Martinsville,  Michigan that Henry Ford had in his collection.
On the left we have field  (or feed)  corn for the livestock placed in the various areas of the Village  (but mostly at Firestone Farm). 

The field corn near the cider mill.
We're still on the last day of August here.

Inside the Firestone Farm kitchen,  Mackenzie prepares apples for a pie.
Depending on the variety,  some apples are ready for picking in the
summer,  though most are ready in late summer and fall.
There are also later fall apples such as the Roxbury Russet or the
Snow apples,  which are usually ready for picking in later October.
Apples have always been an important commodity and home crop 
since first brought to this continent in the 17th century.

In the Firestone cellar we can see the yield of the later summer harvest,  all of which were grown right there on the farm in their kitchen garden.
I remember a few years back I was here in the cellar and there were other visitors talking about the fruits and vegetables there,  and one of them said,  "They get that from the store and bring it here for show."  Another disagreed and said it wasn't real food,  that it was fake and was also just for show.  I couldn't help myself and I piped up  (nicely)  to inform these uninformed folk that what they saw here were the real deal,  and that they actually grew and used everything down here as part of their daily meals,  often including the meat hanging from the rafters.  I then said for them to use their noses and they can surely smell the odors.  Then to walk up the exit stairs and to check out the Firestone garden right outside the door where they could,  many times,  see one or more of the workers weeding.  I also mentioned for them to see the heirloom apple orchard across the road,  of which were used to bake pies,  fritters,  sauce,  and other treats.  The visitors were quite surprised and happy to hear this.  I also said they can ask the farmers/presenters there any question and will get an even better answer than what I gave. 
The dried & salted meats hanging from the rafters,  fresh-made jams on the shelves, 
the variety of fruits & vegetables...soon to be joined by apples from the orchard.
Agricultural life in the 1880s.

Tom Kemper,  one of the Firestone Farmers,  has taken pictures from this same spot and angle for years,  and I've always enjoyed the look and feel of it.  I'm not saying others didn't do it before him,  but his was the first I took note of.  Ever since,  so many of us have done the same.  It just opens up a world of an 1880s farm scene.  And there's the little red cider mill off on the left.
Farm living is the life for me...
Earlier I mentioned a great book about colonial life called The Cabin Faced West.  Well,  I feel I should also mention what I consider to be the best book written about farm life,  bar none:  "Farmer Boy"  by Laura Ingalls Wilder,  which is the biographical work of her husband,  Almanzo.  It is the telling of  the adventures of pioneer family  (farm)  life in the late 1800s.  Don't let the fact that this book was/is considered a children's book dissuade you from checking it out,  for it is so well written and filled with excellent information that it can easily be applied to Firestone Farm.   I have read it about a half-dozen times - most recently earlier this year - and Ms.  Wilder brings this Victorian era of farming to life in story-form like no other,  and it is done seasonally,  with no stones unturned.  I am surprised the Greenfield Village store does not sell copies.
They really should.

August is now ended...
The month of September rolled around,  and I continued on with my Thursday visits.  It became a weekly habit that I looked forward to.
The entrance to Greenfield Village - - yeah...the calendar says September 7,  but fall has definitely come to Michigan two weeks before the astronomical equinox date came!

Once again,  the Birthplace of Henry Ford. 
This was Henry Ford's first restoration project but the last building he personally
brought to Greenfield Village before he died.

And,  of course,  from there I scamper all the way down to the Daggett Farm House,  then work my way back up to the front.
On this first Thursday in September we find Kirsten working in the kitchen garden, 
continuing to harvest needed items for their meals.

Melissa is inside preparing to cook what Kersten harvests...
Isn't this a cozy scene?

And Roy continues his well-sweep project.

Then moving up the road a bit to the McGuffey Cabin...
Inside the McGuffey Cabin,  showing the year 1800,  we can see a few items that perhaps came from Mrs.  McGuffey's own kitchen garden.
Looks like she made candles as well,  for I see a fresh one in the candle stick.

Detroit history~
Welcome the Detroit Central Farmer's Market,  originally built in Detroit
in 1861 - the newest addition to Greenfield Village.  
In the fall,  farmers from all around would bring their yield to Detroit's Central Farmer's Market to sell.  It would be packed with farmers selling their fruits and vegetables,  and carriages pulled by horses would be lined up all around.   Something else I learned,  which sort of ties together the overall story of Greenfield Village is the telling of the Ford family’s possible ties to the market:  it could very well be that Henry’s family would have used the central market as did the rest of the large extended Ford family.
Isn't that great??  It all just seems to come full circle!

Meanwhile,  over at the kitchen garden at Firestone Farm...
A kitchen garden is self-explanatory in that what is grown in this plot of land is what the women of the house will use for cooking and canning in the kitchen,  and she could also grow medicinal plants and even some to be used for dyeing wool.

Looking out the Firestone Farm dining room window,  
the tall feed corn can be seen in the front field.

On September 14,  I took another snap of the Ford Home first thing. 
I really enjoy the comparisons between the weeks.
Even of the sun's angle.

The weather was fairly warm,  with highs nearing 80,  pretty typical for mid-September in the metro-Detroit area.  
The well-sweep wasn't the only thing Roy was working on - he also put together new
poles for the firepit.

The ladies of the Daggett House look on...

The Susquehanna House was once thought to be from the 17th century.  After extensive research it was found to be from the 1840s.

My favorite eatery,  bar none:  the 1831 Eagle Tavern.
It may have been built in the early 1830s,  but it can still easily pass for one
built nearly a hundred years earlier.
Notice the autumn leaves...~
One Autumn night,  in Greenfield town,
Across the meadows bare and brown,
The windows of the tavern / inn
Gleamed red with fire-light through the leaves
Of woodbine,  hanging from the eaves
Their crimson curtains rent and thin.
As ancient is this hostelry
As any in the land may be,
Built in the old 1830s day,
When men lived in a grander way,
With ampler hospitality;
A kind of old Hobgoblin Hall,
Now repaired from its decay,
With weather-stains upon the wall,
And stairways worn, and crazy doors,
And creaking and uneven floors,
And chimneys huge,  and tiled and tall.
Yes, I changed up Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s  “Prelude;  The Wayside Inn”  (from 1863)  a bit to sort of make it fit somewhat with the photo.

I did enjoy a fine roast - as good as any roast I ever had!
Aside from the excellent food,  it's the ambience that sets
the Eagle Tavern apart from most restaurants.
No electric lighting - just candle light.

The pub/barroom window.

On my way to Firestone Farm,  I ran into the farmers there who had field work to do:
Firestone Farmers...
They do work in the field throughout the planting,  growing,  and harvest seasons.
I continued toward the house - - - 
And so,  let's look to Washington Irving for an 18th century description of autumn:
"...his eye,  ever open to every symptom of  culinary abundance,  ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn.  On all sides he beheld vast store of  apples;  some hanging in oppressive opulence on the trees;  some gathered into baskets and barrels for the market;  others heaped up in rich piles for the cider press.  Farther on he beheld great fields of Indian corn,  with its golden ears peeping from their leafy coverts,  and holding out the promise of cakes and hasty pudding;  and the yellow pumpkins lying beneath them,  turning up their fair round bellies to the sun;  and giving ample prospects of the most luxurious of pies..."  
(from Legend of Sleepy Hollow) 
...he beheld vast store of  apples;  some hanging in oppressive opulence on the trees;
This is one of the heirloom apple trees planted at Greenfield Village - Baldwin.  The Baldwin apples originated in Massachusetts around 1740.
No,  I am not actually picking an apple - I know better!
Also,  just to note how important apples for cider was to Samuel Daggett - and to most in those pre-20th century days - from his own account book we see that in the year 1763:  "I made 21 barils of cider."
And the following years he also made:
1764 - 7 barils
1765 - 16 barils
1766 - 8 barils
1767 - 10 barils
1768 - 20 barils
1769 - 19 barils
(Samuel's spelling)
Rumor has it they are supposed to plant heirloom apple trees over at or near the Daggett Farm - if this is true,  it makes me immensely happy!

Just the same as Daggett,  the ladies of Firestone worked to prepare the noon-time dinner meal.  Of course,  afterward,  as we see here,  they must clean up - all in the same manner as was done in the mid-1880s.
Clean up time is clean up time.   
However,  put someone in period clothing....

Well,  now,  here we go to another Thursday - this time one week later - September 21.  Most people have a tendency to think of September 21st as the Autumnal Equinox  (first day of the Astronomical Fall),  but,  well,  here is a fun fact for you:  the Autumnal Equinox usually occurs on September 22 or 23,  though it can very rarely fall on September 21 or September 24.  A September 21 equinox has not happened for several millennia.  However,  in the 21st century,  it will happen twice—in 2092 and 2096.
Imagine that!
And here we are again!
Welcome to another week  (September 21)  and another Ford photo!

But I caught one of the Ford workers working in the kitchen garden!
One doesn't necessarily notice just how agricultural Greenfield Village is until the
autumn time of year.  As noted earlier:  "Rooted in the American Farm."  

In the Ford yard we see that Greenfield Village is preparing for their month-long Hallowe'en event,  which takes place for most of October.  The Village employees fondly call this pumpkin scarecrow Mr.  Irving,  after Sleepy Hollow author Washington Irving.

But there's no time to dilly-dally - it's off to the Daggett House!
Well,  here it is – the most majestic house in Greenfield Village.
When first brought to Greenfield Village back in the late 1970s,  it was called  “The Connecticut Saltbox.”
What is known as a saltbox-style house today was called either a lean-to or a breakback during the 18th century  (and not  “saltbox”),  and it was a very popular architectural style in colonial Connecticut/New England.  In fact,  our 2nd President,  John Adams,  was born in such a home  (in Massachusetts). 
This type of architecture design is a direct descendent of rural houses in medieval England.  English settlers in America created this manner of engineering by adapting said medieval house form to meet the different needs and weather of northeast America.  The most distinctive feature is the asymmetrical gable roof,  which has a short roof plane in the front and a long roof plane in the rear,  extending over a lean-to,  in this case,  the kitchen.  I have read that this form got its  "saltbox"  name years later from the similarly shaped small chests used for storing salt at that time.  Its design also reveals the layout of the interior where little effort is made to disguise the wooden structural members.
The style was perfect for the harsh New England climate.
I had only been to Greenfield Village one time before this house was brought there,  and I don’t remember much of that corner of the Village from way back in 1973.  It wasn’t until 1983 that I began to visit again – Daggett House was already in place – and it immediately became my favorite  (along with the George Matthew Adams House).  Not to say I don’t like other houses  (Firestone Farm,  Plympton,  and Giddings are high on my list of favorites),  but the Daggett House just spoke to me.  Perhaps it was my English heritage and early American ancestors who were doing the  “speaking,”  who knows? The point is,  it is the house I have always been most attached to.  I am very honored that so many associate me with it.
One can imagine,  back in the day,  this old Farris Windmill grinding grain into flour,  the sails turning in the wind,  which in turn spins the grinding wheels inside.
You can also see the completed firepit.
Home Sweet Home~

If you look almost dead center you can see Kirsten in the kitchen garden.  
Of course,  you can't miss the new well-sweep!

A watched bucket never seals  (lol)~
Roy has a few leaking wooden buckets and barrels that need to be sealed.   No finish sealant will work for this.  You have to soak the entire unit  (inside and outside,  submerged)  so the wood will swell,  that's how wooden buckets work,  usually the staves are thicker.  The usual way to do this is to soak them for a while in a stream or in a tub of water so that the wood expands and the gaps close up.  This could be a short soak or could take a couple weeks. 

Down the road and we can see this beautiful fall look.
This is why I live in a state with four seasons.
I have a friend who moved up here to Michigan a scant two or three years ago from Nicaragua and experienced Fall for the first time.  He said the beauty is indescribable because they don't have this down there in his home country.
I don't think I could handle a world without Autumn leaves.

And then,  per my normal activity,  I found my way to visit my friends at Firestone Farm.
The only three houses with period-dress presenters for the most part are Ford,  Daggett,  and Firestone.  Once in a great while we may see some inside other structures,  but not nearly as much as they used to have.  And I know Cohen Millinery Shop also has period dress presenters,  as does the Grimm Jewelry Store.  A few other structures,  such as the Menlo Park complex and Wright Brothers House usually will have vested volunteers.
And when you eat at Eagle Tavern,  you get a waitress or waiter dressed as if it is 1850!
All are wonderful,  by the way.
Would you look at that field corn!
It almost entirely blocks Firestone Farm House!

The farmers were out in the field in force on this day to harvest and make corn shocks.

The harvested field corn is being stood up in neat shocks.  Firestone Farm pre-dates the era of the silo,  when corn stalks were chopped up and made into a slightly fermented feed known as silage.  So instead,  the Firestone corn stalks will be chopped and fed as fodder.

The harvested corn in the wagon~

Gathering the stalks into shocks has an important purpose.  The inside of the stalks,  sheltered from the elements,  retain their nutritional value for quite some time and the actual shock makes a handy manageable portion for the farmer to haul from the field for his cattle.

The farmers taking a break and planning their next move.
Soon they would be called to the house - a fine 1880s meal awaited them.

Yes,  I do like window shots,  especially if
this is what you see when you look out.

Dinner was almost ready.
There is a bell off the side door they ring to call the farmers in from the fields.

Meanwhile,  in the cellar we see apples galore from their heirloom orchard.


That's the Firestone Farmhouse!
It is the beautifully restored birthplace of tire magnet,  Harvey Firestone.
The house and surrounding fields are a real working farm.  No,  nobody sleeps in the house,  but the presenters are there first thing in the morning,  preparing the cookstove for the day's meal.  Others arrive early to feed the animals and do other morning farm chores.
That's what makes this place so special - it's real.

Boy!  Time sure does fly by!
Here we are,  the last week of September,  the last Thursday of September,  but the 1st actual Fall Thursday - yes,  it is now September 28th.  I would be remiss if I didn't include the Birthplace of Henry Ford to begin this chapter:
Some trees hit early - these two small trees in the foreground began changing color in late August,  and here they are in late September and still quite dazzling.

I often wonder what the Daggett family would think if they somehow knew that they,  average farmers of the 18th century,  would be known 260 years later,  that their home would be visited by millions,  that their lives would be  "reenacted"  to teach people of their time.
I can only imagine.   

The duties of the colonial woman included milking the cows or goats and carrying the milk inside to be strained,  pouring it into shallow pans to allow the cream to rise,  then skimming off the cream to churn it into butter or to make cheese were as necessary as any other chore.
This could also have been done by one of the children.
Then there was grinding corn,  fermenting vinegar,  pulverizing sugar,  drying damp flour,  and recycling stale bread,  which were also part of her job.
Running a kitchen really did require a staggering range of skills,  including chopping kindling,  keeping a fire burning indefinitely,  knowing which wood was best for baking or frying,  plucking feathers from fowl,  butchering animals large and small,  cosseting  (caring for)  bread yeast,  brewing beer,  making cheese,  adjusting  'burners'  of coals on a hearth and gauging the temperature of a bake oven.  
Or maybe she could just drive thru McDonalds...or throw a TV dinner into the microwave.
Drying herbs and even perhaps fruit at the window.
And I believe hops are encircling the frame.
Is that Roy I see in the kitchen garden?

If you look close,  you can see the newly built well sweep center left.
Similar to Firestone Farm,  Daggett is a sort of living history area,  for those who work here are constantly cooking,  caring for their kitchen garden,  making objects needed,  chopping wood for warmth and cooking.  Pretty much the only thing they don't do here  (though I wish they would),  is plow and have farm animals.
Maybe one day...
But it is as living history as Firestone.
I wonder where they plan to put the apple trees?

Roy is checking on his hops,  for it won't be long before he will be brewing beer!

We're going back to England during the time the Pilgrims were crossing the Atlantic for America.  Yep,  this Cotswold Cottage is that old - 1620!
It really did come from England~

The building in the foreground,  the Cotswold Forge,  is from the same general area in England as the Cotswold Cottage in the previous picture.  What's neat about this picture is that here we have a building from 1600s England,  and the Farris Windmill  (seen across the street as it sits inside Greenfield Village)  was made in 1633 in Massachusetts - only about 30 miles from where the Pilgrims settled in Plymouth.  It makes me wonder:  what are the chances that any of the Pilgrims actually saw this very same windmill?
How cool to think about it!

The seasonal changes at Firestone Farm - looks like fall to me!
With the thick gray clouds hanging low,  the Canadian geese traipsing through the field,  and the corn shocks all standing proudly,  this picture,  to me,  is almost the epitome of autumn.

And there it is - the cider mill.
I was told that they had plans to press cider there the next day - the first time in 20 years!
I wish I could have seen this but I had already made other plans.
Hopefully,  since I heard all went well,  it will continue to be used annually.

Another shot of the farmyard - compare to the photo taken a month earlier near the top of this post.

While inside,  the Firestone representatives  enjoy the noontime dinner meal.

Handouts for Fall Flavor Weekend
through the years.
Now we'll move into October - October 1st,  to be exact - and I complained once again about the lack of the fall harvest weekends.  However,  I was told they were having a sort of Fall/Hallowe'en preview weekend.
That's good and all,  but I really truly feel that The Henry Ford is losing their way here.  Greenfield Village used to have two amazing weekends - the last weekend in September and the first weekend of October - dedicated to the fall harvest.  One could visit a dozen houses where wonderful harvest activities would occur,  whether it was cooking a harvest meal,  winnowing,  corn shucking,  beer brewing,  spinning,  bailing hay,  plowing,  threshing with a flail...just a kaboodle of historic activities!
The last of this great event took place in 2019.  Just look at the variety of handouts from over the years in the picture on the left!  
I complained to a few,  and that's when I learned about the  "preview weekend"  that was to take place on October 1st.
So I went:

October 1st
I could not pass this spot without adding to my collection,  now could I?

From what I was told,  this apple tree was planted here by
Henry Ford himself.  That may be a myth,  though.
I've also been told that due to its age,  it may be removed soon. 
Hopefully it will be replaced,  though it seems no one is 100% 
sure of the variety of apple it grows - possibly a Snow Apple,
supposedly the same from the original Ford Home site.

Cooking in the Ford kitchen!

From the Ackley Covered Bridge looking west.

Of course,  you know where I'm heading - - - 
Roy & Chuck were brewing beer using an 18th century recipe.

This beer-brewing activity has been going on for years now, 
and I never get sick of watching - -
I still learn something each and every time!

And the women prepare the day's meal.
I never tire of learning from these ladies either!
During the time Samuel & Anna Daggett and their three children were living in this house - 1750s on forward - it was a busy home.  The historic presenters oftentimes show this scene very well.
In fact,  it was here during one of the Harvest/Flavors Weekends that I learned about processing flax into linen,  of which I present during a few of my own living history excursions. 

Wool dyeing was moved from the Daggett Home to the McGuffey School area.

I am glad to see dyeing still continuing on, 
and the ladies here did a wonderful
job presenting.

I suppose its good that the surroundings are period correct
for this chore  (though I do like it better done at Daggett).

Just look at the vibrant colors from natural dyes.
I am glad that there is still beer brewing and wool dyeing for at least one weekend.
Now let's add to that activity - - .  

The corn shocks and the cider mill in early October~

Cleanup time in Firestone's kitchen.
They wouldn't give me any pie!
(I always ask - - who knows?  One day they may say,  "Ken,  have a seat -
we have pie for you!"
I know,  I know...what color is the sky in my world...lolol...

A week after this visit we went to Greenfield Village for their spectacular Hallowe'en event where,  before the sun went down,  they also included snippets of harvest time.  Naturally that was where I could be found.
Beer brewing was brought down to the McGuffey area rather than at Daggett for,  as I've been told,  it was felt that Hallowe'en revelers/guests would not venture all the way down to Daggett to see this activity.
So here we have Chuck brewing beer.  He,  like Roy,  has been doing this for many-a-year.
It was good to see him.
The McGuffey cabin you see behind him was built around 1789/1790.
And wool dyeing was also taking place.
Tonight we had Vanessa showing everyone how it was done.

As the sun waned in the western sky,  I passed the Daggett House,  and I loved seeing the colors surrounding it,  with the setting sun bringing out more of the reds,  yellows,  oranges,  and even greens.
We had a beautiful night for the Hallowe'en event.
There would still be a couple weeks before the colors reach their peak,
but even on October 7 they shone brightly.
(Please click HERE for more Hallowe'en at Greenfield Village  pictures)

Two weeks later...
And so now it is October 22,  and I visited Greenfield Village during their Members Strolling Day.  These are days where there are no presenters working,  and the houses,  restaurants,  and stores are not open.  It is as it says:  Members Strolling Day.  That's it.
Now,  you may wonder what is so interesting about walking around without presenters.
Well,  it's a great time for photography,  especially this time of year.
The Ford Home~
The tree on the left is sort of a reddish-auburn.
The tree on the right has gone bald!
It was on Sunday,  October 22,  that my friend Norm and I met up at Greenfield Village while in our period 18th century clothing.  Most of the pictures of us will be in an upcoming posting near the end of November - but I did put a few here.
Here's a shot of myself with Norm on October 22.
One day I'll have to do a sort of  "tree tour"  to learn what trees are planted throughout
the Village,  for they have amazing colors.
I will admit,  I do not know most tree types by looking at them like so many do.
This particular Members Strolling day proved to be,  in my opinion,  the epitome of Autumn:  it was the perfect fall day,  with a nip in the air,  the sun out in the morning,  clouds rolling in for a bit early afternoon,  then the sun returned,  and bearing witness of the amazing variety of colors from the trees,  and just being surrounded by - and immersed in - history.
Simply perfect!
The William Ford barnyard,  where the horses can roam about.

This barn was built by William Ford,  Henry's Father,  the same year as Henry's birth - 1863 -  in Springwells Twp.,  Michigan.  It was originally located across the road from the family homestead and stored grain and hay and,  at times,  tools and livestock.

As I mentioned at the top of this post,  more than anything else,  Greenfield Village really shines the spotlight on American agricultural history.  I personally think that's wonderful.  Farming always tends to be more of an afterthought during most history lessons when it should be at the forefront.
The Canadian Geese told us to follow them to Firestone Farm.
So we did!

In this next picture we can see the Martinsville Cider Mill,  though the sun was more behind so the red color of the building does not come through as it usually does.  The center green there is the heirloom apple orchard,  which has new trees - somewhere between saplings and adult trees - which will one day bear the fruit of our ancestors:
Baldwin,  Roxbury Russet,  Maidens Blush,  Rambo,  Pippins,  Rhode Island Greening,  and other apple varieties little known today but well known in centuries past.  To the far left are beehives,  and to the far right in the distance you can barely make out the corn shocks.
If you look hard you can see me almost right smack dab in the middle of this picture, 
walking along the fence line of the Firestone heirloom apple trees. 

In 1822,  Edward Loranger purchased the land on which his house is still located.  He became one of the most prominent landowners and architects in early Monroe,  Michigan,  and constructed many buildings in the area,  including houses and stores.  He built his own house in 1826,  which still stands in its original spot.
Feeling the new settlement needed a grist and saw mill,  Loranger himself hewed oak timbers for beams,  cut with a broad axe the whitewood siding of the building,  and cut logs for a dam in the river to impound the water for power to turn the wheels.  And he worked the mill himself,  staying long hours in the autumn days as the main harvest came in.  Loranger also would run his saw mill as needed,  so I would imagine he employed numerous locals to help him out..
The Loranger Gristmill,  from 1832.

Here we have what I call the  "business district" - the city  part of Greenfield Village.
The Wright Brothers Cycle Shop,  Cohen Millinery Shop,  the replicated 1st Ford factory,  the Heinz House making ketchup...

We can barely see the Canadian cottage built by the grandparents of Thomas Edison.

Sleepy Hollow?
Sounds like a nice little town.
Methinks,  mayhaps,  I could settle here.

Time to head back to my  house:
Greenfield Village was very lucky to get this house,  for it was offered to
Old Sturbridge Village first.
I am so glad they turned it down  (it did not fit the period in which they present there).
Frankly,  I don't believe the history would have been shown as well - so glad  "we"  got it!

Here is a colonial scene:
from Daggett to the Farris  (Cape Cod)  Windmill to the small red Plympton Home.

The thorn amidst all the autumn beauty.

Norm moves past the 1822 home of Noah Webster.
That is the original home right there where Mr.  Webster completed his dictionary.
And to think that Yale University - that bastion of gathering knowledge/higher learning - was going to have this historic house razed.
Thank God Henry Ford took it under his care.

As I was about to leave,  I saw this in the ticket plaza and had to get a snap of it.
So...did you get your fill of autumn at Greenfield Village through today's post with over a hundred photos?
Well,  as I said earlier,  toward the end of November - in just about a month or so - I plan to have another post about autumn at Greenfield Village.  It will be a sort of part two of this one.
I still have a strong hope that Fall Flavors/Fall harvest will be brought back in full force once again - all people of all races on all human-populated continents celebrated/celebrate the harvest,  and have since time began.  Just imagine candle dipping,  grain harvest,  apple cider making,  bailing hay,  heirloom apple tours,  winnowing,  dyeing and spinning,  flax processing,  beer brewing,  all kinds of cooking,  corn shelling,  soap making,  threshing with a threshing machine as well as with hand-flails,  seeing sickles & scythes being used...quite the journey to harvest past!

Until next time,  see you in time.

Here are my blog postings if you want to see how the Greenfield Village Fall Harvest / Fall Flavors Weekends used to be,  for those who had never been.
Now,  this event began way before 2012 - I just never wrote blog posts about it before 2012:
2020 was the beginning of the end;  they had small doses of harvest/flavors,  but the end was nigh.
2021 - not Fall Flavors,  but plenty of photos during the season,  sort of like today's post.

I don't believe there is another season I celebrate like fall/autumn/harvest time.  And it's not only at Greenfield Village.  I celebrate with my family in a variety of different ways.  Click HERE  

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