Please watch your step.
Walks, streets, and floors
replicate those of the 1800's
and are uneven.
(from the brochure of Crossroads Village)
The entrance to Crossroads Village
Tiny plumes of smoke rise from the boiler at the Master Cider Mill and drift silently over the wooden walks and dewy grass. Down the street, a woman walks among her gardens gathering flowers in her apron and waves to the gentlemen at the sawmill, who are turning huge logs into planks. There’s a game of checkers just starting at the barbershop, and musicians backstage at the opera house are tuning up their voices for the first show of the day.
The century-old grinding stones at the Atlas Mill are turning wheat into flour for the day’s bread, while a little girl learns to crochet and her mother admires a hand-made quilt. Eager passengers slide onto their seats in the wooden coaches of the Huckleberry Railroad as the conductor calls out, “All aboard!”
Most of the 35 buildings here were moved – brick, board and stone – to this magical place at the edge of Mott Lake. Many came from just a few miles away. In this peaceful setting, they have been preserved, furnished and put back into use, so you can experience first-hand what life was like in a small village in Michigan in the late 1800's
(this was taken from the official Crossroads Village web site)
Thus begins our journey to and through that little village that few are aware of, Crossroads Village.
Crossroads Village was founded in the year 1973 as part of the upcoming United States bicentennial celebration. It had only three buildings at that time but grew to 13 buildings by its grand opening day of July 4, 1976.
It now has over 30 structures.
What makes Crossroads Village so unique is its authenticity - it has dirt roads, wood-plank sidewalks, an actual period train and train cars, and just has the look and feel of stepping into the past, moreso, dare I say, than the modernized Greenfield Village.
Does Crossroads have its problems? Certainly, and I plan to address those problems throughout this blog when I feel it is necessary.
I will address one complaint here: for the twenty + years that I have been visiting Crossroads Village, I have never seen a guidebook with info and photos, only a brochure with a few lines written about each structure. I feel this needs to be rectified, for this Village deserves more than a simple brochure.
When all is said and done, we here in southeast Michigan are truly blessed with having two open-air historical museums within two hours of each other.
For those out-of-towners who cannot make it to either one, I hope my blogs help you to enjoy them vicariously through the information and photos posted.
By the way, all photos were taken by me. If you would like to use them, feel free, but please give me and this blog the credit. Thank you.
(Here is the address to my Greenfield Village blog - http://gfv1929.blogspot.com/).
So, come along on this Journey to the Past...