unusual Tourist Sites: Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum Dearborn, Michigan Part 1

About the unusual tourist sites of Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, history and description.

Dearborn, Michigan

Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum . . . You take a walk through American history when visiting Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. A tour of the village puts you into the workrooms of men like Thomas Alva Edison, Orville and Wilbur Wright, the studies of Noah Webster or Robert Frost, or the courtroom of a young attorney from Illinois, who signed his name A. Lincoln. Gaze into the cockpits of the trimotor airplanes used by Adm. Richard E. Byrd on his 1st historic flights over both the North and South poles.

Something for every member of the family would best describe this outstanding museum complex devoted to our history and heritage. And it is fun, too. Ride a horse-drawn carriage, the oldest operating steam train, or even an old Model T.

What makes this so different from other museums? Men like Orville Wright and Edison were among those who personally supervised the restoration of some of the historic buildings, checking to be sure everything was correct and in its place. Had it not been for the foresight of Henry Ford, a simple man who had little formal education, the world would not have a treasure house such as this today, one where we can actually step back 300 years into the past and see how our ancestors and many famous Americans lived and worked.

The Wright Brothers Bicycle Shop and home--moved from Dayton, O., piece by piece, board by board, and brick by brick--stands today as a monument to the development of aviation. A few years back, an ambitious mayor in Dayton even tried to take the museum to court to make it give the building back to Dayton because Dayton was then ready to put up some kind of Wright memorial.

Step into the former Illinois courtroom where young Abe tried some of his 1st cases as a circuit-riding attorney. This building was like many others now preserved in the village. All of them were going to rack and ruin and were about to be destroyed when Henry Ford interceded. His crews went to work, 1st detailing and blueprinting these buildings. Each board, shelf, or piece of glass was marked and catalogued. The pieces were then shipped off to Dearborn and rechecked to be sure everything was included. Curators would pore over documents, checking out every last detail to ascertain that the materials and pieces were reassembled correctly.

Henry Ford was a man dedicated to the smallest detail, whether it be in his vast automobile empire or his real love, the collections of Greenfield Village. He arranged to move Edison's electric laboratory from Menlo Park, N.J., to Dearborn, and it was the 1st building opened, on October 29, 1929--the date coinciding with the Golden Jubilee of Edison's invention of the 1st incandescent light.

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