Located in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan the Henry Ford is an indoor and outdoor museum. It is also known as the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Greenfield Village. Both sections of the Henry Ford were opened to the public in 1933. Overall, it hosts about 1.7 million visitors annually.
Greenfield Village is the outdoor living history museum section of the Henry Ford complex. At the time it was the only outdoor museum of its kind in America and is the model for other such facilities. It is home to nearly 100 historical buildings that were relocated on the property from their original locations. They were arranged in a village setting and include buildings from the 17th century to present times.
While the Henry Ford Complex is intended to illustrate how Americans lived and worked from their country’s earliest times I find so much of the museum’s collection applicable to Canadian life. The rural/industrial ways of life that are illustrated there are so similar to both countries.
Needless to say, it is a great place to visit and photograph. Over the almost 30 years that we have been making trips to Michigan to visit our son and his family we have been to the Henry Ford Complex many times. But, I don’t think I have seen everything there is to see in either the indoor Henry Ford Museum or Greenfield Village. There will be future visits to the Henry Ford.
Last week, we spent about 4 hours at Greenfield Village. It was busy. The many busses in the parking lots indicated that this was a popular destination for school field trips.
Trains pulled by steam locomotives circumnavigate the Village property. Tours of the Village are conducted on authentic Ford Model T’s driven by ‘period’ dressed drivers, 1931 Ford AA bus and by horse drawn carriages
The Round House at Greenfield Village is a prominent display of a time when ‘steam was king’. It is a working facility with a daily demonstration of how the turntable is used and with engines being restored and repaired inside.
The Wright brothers bicycle shop is where their first plane was built. It is an interesting display of bicycles of the early 1900’s, tools that were used and of the early stage of construction of their plane’s wing.
Thomas Edison’s inventions and work played prominently in American and world history. His ‘footprint’ is a major component of the Henry Ford Complex.
Small general stores fulfilled the needs of the villages and towns across the country selling everything from food, horse whips, guns and fine china.