Colonial Williamsburg – The Henry Ford of the East Coast
All the while I was growing up I heard about Colonial Williamsburg. I saw it on morning news shows, children’s shows would have special episodes set there, and the Bobbsey Twins even set a mystery there (The Red, White, and Blue Mystery – seriously read it before you go. I read about everything I could get my hands on before I finally got to visit Colonial Williamsburg and this did a better job of preparing me for my visit then any of the handbooks and travel guides I read.)[NOTE: Last time I said so, I was encouraged to read the newest one for children and the newest one for adults. I’ve bought them, but haven’t read them yet.- 2016]
Shhhhh! You Never Hear About The Henry Ford
On the other hand, I don’t think I had more than a vague idea that Greenfield Village existed. I remember checking out a 15 minute video from the Iowa City Public Library years ago and that was my first real hint of the richness that makes up The Henry Ford. Henry Ford had the wonderful idea, really well before his time, to collect as complete as possible full sets of everyday items, sleighbells, sad irons, lightbulbs, etc. And added things of cultural importance (The On the Road With Charles Kuralt Bus, the Weinermobile) and things related to great people (the chair Lincoln sat in at Ford’s Theater, Rosa’s Park’s bus, Edison’s last breath, Luther Burbank’s shovel – Yes, you should know that name, look him up).
What really hooked me was when I visited during the Association of Living History Farms and Museum conference one year. I was overawed by what a great collection and a great experience it was and have since been collecting articles and books on The Henry Ford ever since. It’s been a fascinating pursuit. This video is just a small tease at what they have to offer.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Connections
Laura fans should be interested for two main reasons. First, this is where Almanzo spent his time while Laura was giving her Book Week Speech. You can still see some of the same things Almanzo did and while he doesn’t seem to have left a record of his passing, he did tell people that the lunch wagon, where you can still get a meal, provided a better meal at a better price than he could get in Mansfield.
Second, Laura fans will also want to take note that Bill Kurtis, journalist and co-owner of the Little House on the Prairie Museum site in Independence, narrates this 12 minute film.
A smaller bonus reason is that Rose Wilder wrote a biography on Henry Ford Rose Wilder wrote a biography on Henry Ford, I own a copy, do you?
UPDATED October 9 2016: I added the headings and a few links when I reblogged.
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.