Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Road Trip - Day 3 - Greenfield Village, Detriot

Day 3 was a fantastic day so fantastic I have to dedicate a whole blog post to it - we spent a good 5 hours (and didn't see all we wanted so plan for a full day as is it a truly brilliant place) at Greenfield Village - Greenfield Village is the life of Henry Ford, one of America's greatest industrialists and innovators, from childhood through the founding of his Ford Motor Company. 

We got there bang on opening time and started off by taking the steam train to Porches & Parlours one of the seven districts of Greenfield Village - here we discovered the home life of America's past, saw the oldest building the village had which was an old Cotswold cottage from the 1600's - It is said Ford fell in love with this house and paid for it to be shipped over to Greenfield Village stone by stone and there was the oldest windmill ever in the US - all these buildings Henry Ford had relocated to his Village.

After a ride in an old vintage bus for a ride around the village we stopped at a 1913 carousel for the girls to have a ride, then it was a ride on a horse drawn carriage - where Stephen & Foster (the horses named after Stephen Foster who is known as the "father of American music", was the pre-eminent songwriter in the United States. ) took us on a ride back to the steam train.

Our next adventure in the village was candle making the old fashioned way using beeswax - we were told families would follow bees back to their nests and mark the nests with the families initials, after the summer the families would then harvest half the beeswax to make candles from scratch - this involved melting down the wax, then making the candles by dipping a wick wrapped around a stick into the melted wax, then cooling the wax off in a large cauldron of cold water and so on until the candle become thick and candle like - we were impressed enough to have a go at making our own candles it was great fun but took quite a while to do - Mr C and I did the hot dipping into the wax whilst the girls did the cool dipping into the cold water, and we intend to light these candles on Christmas Eve

After the candle making our next exciting place we looked at was Sarah Jordan's boarding house - why is this so special well it just so happens to be the first house in the WORLD to have electricity and we went inside it to take a look, the house is in the Edison at Work district and it was great to look around the house and the Menlo Park complex where Thomas did all his work - he invented the world's first ipod well it was called a phonograph back then, but it was the first device to ever record and playback sound and do you know what the first thing he recorded and played back no well it was Mary had a little lamb after all he was a family man with 2 young children.

After living a bit in the awe of Thomas Edison it was time to grab some lunch and as we were in a village in the 1850's it would only be fitting to have lunch in the Eagle Tavern - a pub that Calvin Wood ran from 1849 to 1854, offering travelers a place to eat, drink and sleep. It served only food that was true to the 1850's - so we ate in the tavern where customers shared tables lit only by candlelight as they did back in those days, Mr C & I both had the Salmagundi (very much like a ploughmans lunch) and it was delicious.

 After our lunch it was time to see more of the village and time to ride on a Model T, so making our way there we saw The Heinz family home - where they first started their empire but not with Tomato Ketchup or baked beans but horseradish sauce who'd have thought it, the Wright Brothers home and bike shop was next - where they designed the first plane, and look where planes take us these days. The original Ford Motor Company Factory was next and then it was time for our ride in a Model T - yes we got to ride around the village in a Model T the first car to be mass produced, and we liked it so much we had another ride around.

After the Model T ride, it was pretty much time for us to be on our way as we had to drive to Canada that day, so we walked back to the entrance passing the home that Henry Ford was born in, and surprisingly the last house to be relocated to the village even though it had the shortest distance to come.

Our Greenfield Village adventure was over but we will definitely be back as there is so much more to see and do.

Leaving Detroit meant only one thing we were on our way to Canada - we drove up to Port Huron and crossed the border there with ease - Canada being the 5th country in 8 months the girls and I have been too - quite an adventure and our first stop in Canada Stratford but more of that later.

Hello Canada I've always wanted to go to Canada and can't wait to explore you more

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