Visiting The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village

By: Ann Knapp

The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village are popular tourist destinations that attract tens of thousands of visitors annually. They are located near Dearborn, Michigan, and are easily accessible by car, luxury sedan, or public transportation.

The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village are history destinations that bring American history to life. Both attractions provide a rich and diverse offering of exhibits, demonstrations, programs and reenactments. Both bring to life yesterday's traditions and today's innovations.

Spread over more than 90-acres, Greenfield Village is alive with the unforgettable sights, sounds and settings of America's past.

Greenfield Village traces the life of Henry Ford, one of America's greatest industrialists and innovators, from childhood through the founding of his Ford Motor Company. From there you can move from the home where he was born, to a replica of the factory where he built his first automobiles. You can even take a test ride in his first most popular model car of the time, the Model T.

As you stroll down the Village's busy thoroughfares, you'll encounter a bustling place of automobiles and carriages, events and amusements. You can discover the center of community and commerce at the J. R. Jones General Store, Mrs. Cohen's Millinery, and the Logan County Courthouse. All of these locations are brimming with American history and heritage.

See Henry Ford's good friend's Thomas Edison Menlo Park complex when he was developing the incandescent light bulb, the invention that transformed the world. You'll also see the actual workplaces that gave birth to Edison's other innovations, and the first buildings to be illuminated by his light bulb.

Your family will have a great time at the operating steam-powered rail line and a 1800s small-town train depot, taking you inside the great history of railroading. You also get the chance to investigate the only working late 19th-century roundhouse in the Midwest.

Greenfield Village also has a bevy of artisans and craftsman who work on their crafts as they did in the days of old. The rush of the millpond draws you in as the sounds and motion of early American manufacturing surround you. See skilled artisans making a variety of products from dishes and glassware to textiles. You could even witness grain processing at the Loranger Gristmill.

It's here at the Village that the soul of 19th-century America comes alive. See the horse-drawn wagons, livestock and fields of ripening vegetables and grain in scenes straight from the nation's agricultural revolution. At Firestone Farm, see presentations of life on a farm, minus modern conveniences. Witness people working as they did hundreds of years ago doing daily household chores to seasonal fieldwork.

You'll also get to see American homes and neighborhood settings, from the early dwellings, such as the 1650s Plympton House and 1750s Daggett Farmhouse, to the 1840s Susquehanna Plantation and the 1930s Mattox House.

And housing one of the largest automobile collections of its kind ever assembled, Henry Ford Museum showcases the people and ideas that have fired our imaginations and changed our lives.

And to top off your tour, spend time viewing movies at the bigger-than-big screen, The Henry Ford IMAX Theater. Here you can see current releases, cinema classics and feature-length documentaries in superb, sense-surrounding detail.

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