Get ready to travel back in time over 200 years to the 1800s! With historic buildings, antique cars, and early machinery, you’ll feel like you just stepped out of a time machine! Experience history as you never have before when you take a trip to Greenfield Village.
Greenfield Village, located in Dearborn, Michigan, is divided into seven different historical districts! Each area is like reading a separate chapter in a history book. Make sure you plan enough time to see every district, as each one offers a unique experience.
The railroad was a very integral mode of transportation in the 1800s, especially for transporting goods and supplies. See an operating steam-powered rail line and the only working roundhouse from the 19th century right here. If you have a Thomas the Train fan, they will love this district!
Farming back then looked much different than it does today. Now we have tractors and automatic sprinkler systems and all kinds of modern things that help the farming industry. Back in the 1800s they had wagons pulled by livestock and huge fields to be harvested. The farm here still operates the way they did back then and you can get a first-hand look into how it worked. You’ll get to see old barns, mills, a wagon shop, and more!
Edison at Work
See the exact place where Thomas Edison created his incandescent lightbulb which lit the world! You’ll see his workshop, glass shed, and his laboratory! You can learn all sorts of things about his life as well as other inventions he came up with!
Porches & Parlors
This is where you can see how they lived back then. You can check out houses and neighborhood settings that date back as far as 1650! See the covered bridges, family homes, and a windmill. These are all original structures that have been preserved and are open for you to tour.
Much of the manufacturing today is done by machines that are either controlled by people or are fully automated. In the 1800s, almost everything was done by hand, as you can witness in the Liberty Craftworks district. See what the early machines looked like, how glass and pottery items were made, and how books were printed!
Main Street is just like a quaint downtown area, only hundreds of years old! Here you’ll find a tavern, jewelry store, general store, courthouse, post office, church, town hall, and bike shop! This will give you the feel for how people shopped and took care of other business back then.
Henry Ford’s Model T
Explore Henry Ford’s life in this district! You can see the home where he was born as well as his workshop! You’ll see a replica of the factory where he built his first automobile! You can even take a cruise in a Model T!
Cars and other modes of transportation that we have today have come a long way! Visiting Greenfield Village gives you the chance to see just where modern transportation got its start. In 1908, the first Model T rolled off the assembly line, changing the way America traveled. Before this, automobiles were too expensive for the average family to own, but the Model T made it possible. Up until then, people used a horse-drawn wagon to get around. You can take a ride in either of these at Greenfield Village and see what luxury for the middle class looked like back then! After the Model T came the Model AA Bus, making it possible for larger groups to travel to common destinations. Ride in one of these too if you want!
For traveling long distances or shipping a lot of items, people used the railroad in earlier times. At Greenfield Village there is a 3 mile-long route you can ride around the village to get from one place to another. There are both diesel and steam engines on this route.
Before you leave, give the little ones a chance to ride the 1913 Herschell-Spillman Carousel! This is a beautifully carved carousel that has a horse, chicken, dog, cat, and other animals to ride. The carousel is open to everyone, so hop on next to your child and take a ride together!
Experience some authentic dishes from the 1800s at one of the many restaurants you can find in the village. Choose from the Eagle Tavern, A Taste of History, Mrs. Fisher’s Southern Cooking, or Cotswold Cottage. If you’re just looking for a snack you can check out Frozen Custard, Guild Beer Hall, Sir John Bennett Sweet Shop, and much more! All the food here features an 1800s theme, so you get to experience Pork Stew with Parsnips and Carrots at the Eagle Tavern or candies and chocolates at Sir John Bennett Sweet Shop.
Not only does Greenfield Village have all this to offer on a regular basis, they offer special events as well. At any time you can check out their website to see what’s coming up! You’ll have a great time on your visit and learn a lot about Michigan history!