All the members of our group had been looking forward to visiting The Henry Ford at Dearborn, Mich., but the distance was too great to take the tractors.
We were therefore very grateful when Bev Miller (of Miller Tires) arranged for three locals to drive us in their vehicles to the museum near Detroit in Michigan. So at 7:30 a.m. the convoy of three vehicles and some 18 people made the two-hour trip to Dearborn.
What a fantastic place this is — one would need a week to do it justice. The Greenfield Village alone would take a day to see properly — everything from a working farm of the 1860s to a village of eight workshops featuring glass blowers, tinsmiths, printers, potters, etc., to a steam train trip around the extremity of the extensive property. Then there were the shops — authentic reproductions of the milliner, candy store, etc. A whole section of the village has recreations of different homes of the various periods and features Thomas Edison’s homestead. Along the streets meandered couples in period costume, always willing to stop and have a chat about the period of time they represent, and for a small fee, one could take a ride in a T Model Ford, or a horse-drawn or old-fashioned omnibus. The 96-year-old carousel was very popular with the younger visitors.
Next it was time to go to the separate Henry Ford Museum — an enormous building extending over 12 acres. This building houses every conceivable motor car, from the Kennedy Presidential Limousine to the smallest vehicle, a Quadricycle. There is the “Goldenrod” which was clocked at an average of 409 mph, favorite cars of the stars, various planes from man’s earliest attempts to master the skies, and the biggest exhibit of them all, the Allegheny Locomotive. Built in 1941, it’s one of the largest steam locomotives ever produced.
Then there are the tractors — every size and shape, and the farm and steam-powered machinery. Apart from the vehicles and machines, there are displays of silver and pewter ware from the 18th century onward, furniture, house designs, clockwork, jewelry — the list goes on and on. The feet run out of steam before the opportunities and here again one needs more time — many days in fact.
It was a weary band of travelers who returned to Archbold around 7 p.m.
The day was again clear and sunny which gave good conditions for the press photo shoot before we left Carlos and Raffaela’s property with our thanks for their hospitality.
Allan and Carolyn made a direct trip to Ford Wayne for a specialist check up for her eye problem and the rest of the group made a leisurely trip via Hicksville and over the border into Indiana. Here, for the first time, we noticed evidence of lower rainfall over the last couple of weeks. The tomatoes, corn and soy plantations were looking a little stressed and the grass was browning off. This seemed to be fairly isolated however, and down the track the corn was bigger and greener than ever.
The short trip to Fort Wayne was accomplished in time for lunch and most of the afternoon was taken up with shopping and general chores, and giving interviews to press and TV. Ron was given the job of filming the presenter in the tractor with Cumber — he does not know how those cameramen (and woman in this case) hold those heavy cameras for such long periods of time. Unfortunately, the signal under the heavy canopy of lovely green trees at the Johnny Appleseed Campground was not strong enough to pick up the Fox channel, so we have not seen the results of our efforts.
We were happy to see Allan and Carolyn back late in the afternoon, and Carolyn was relieved to have been given a good report. Then it was a relaxing meal around the BBQ while watching the video of the July 4th Parade.
See photos and read more on Ron’s website, TransworldTractorTreks.com.