With all of the RV manufacturers and suppliers located within such close proximity to Elkhart, it is no surprise that there would be a move to preserve the history of this industry nearby. Initially, we were willing to pass this attraction by, but were encouraged by others to take a look. On a rainy day shortly before we left Elkhart, we did just that. It was an interesting trip through time as the industry followed the nation’s increasing desire to travel through America’s wild places in increasing comfort. We created a short video to share it with you.
We took the less-traveled US 12 for most of our trip from Elkhart IN to Dearborn MI, our next destination. Passing through several scenic towns, we stumbled across Randy’s BBQ, which had some great brisket “burnt” ends that hit the spot. Our destination was the Wayne County Fairgrounds, one of the few options near Dearborn that would allow us to tour The Henry Ford Museum, and that had openings on the weekend. We were given one of the few shaded pull-thru spots, and we set up camp for the week of our visit.
The Henry Ford Museum is not just named for Henry Ford, it is literally his creation. He began collecting buildings and artifacts for Greenfield Village, an historic village that is at the heart of the museum’s property, almost 100 years ago. The Museum of American Innovation was actually constructed around one of the 9 huge generators that powered the Highland Park facility. We spent 5 different days touring the museum, the village and the nearby Ford Rouge River plant where F150s are made. It was a lot of fun and very interesting. They also had the best frozen custard we found in the area. (And you know we keep looking.) If you have some time, you can tour Greenfield Village with us and the Museum of American Innovation and Ford Rouge, each in their own video. Enjoy!
From Michigan, we turned south to make our way gradually to Virginia. We still had several weeks before we needed to get back, so our progress would be slow. No need to spend too much time in Virginia’s summer heat and humidity. So, our next stop was only a couple of hours due south, still in Northwest Ohio in the middle of farm country. One of the gems we discovered during our stay was a local historic museum in Lima OH, called the Allen County Museum. This small town had assembled an extensive collection of its history – including one of the last steam locomotives manufactured in town – and had managed to display and interpret the collection in an engaging way. Explore along with us at the Allen County Museum in this video.