Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Step Back in Time

It was the day after we had finished butchering the last of our summer batch of meat chickens. We were rather exhausted, and quite done with the whole process, and so decided to take a holiday.

Wednesday dawned cloudy and cool as the Sauve family loaded into faithful Ginger (our van:) and headed out to Crossroads village.  Faith and I had been once before to this quaint little "village" that is set back in the late 1800's, and had always wanted to take the family for a field trip.
For those of you that are familiar with Greenfield village/Henry Ford, Crossroads Village is a bit of a miniature Greenfield village with some parts that, in my opinion, exceed Greenfield village in enjoyment.  One of these is the historic/antique running train.  We took tickets for the 12:00 train, and then went to walk through as much as the village as possible before our departure.
Our first stop was the General Store/gift shop. The front part was full of old fashioned candy, and decor...
and the back of the store, had more homey craft like items, including a rocking chair which Grandpa sat down to rest in.
 One of the only original onsite buildings is the house of Doctor J.E Bartour and that is where our feet took us next.  It was filled with all sorts of miscellaneous medical curiosities.
 There was an old wicker wheelchair, and all styles and sizes of eye glasses, as well as a case full of surgical implements, including the tonsil guillotine!
 One case was full of tiny little bottles of pills and prescriptions.  We left the Doctors house, and after perusing his herbal garden, continued down the street.
We passed the Meeting Hall, which unfortunately was locked for the day, and then went into the Broom Barn.  A young lady there was kind enough to explain about the building, and then show the different straws used to make brooms.
When the subject of brooms had been exhausted, we crossed the street to a house with its adorable little gardens behind it.
The house had quite a lot of the original furniture, and some of the herbs from the garden were dried and hung about.  The time for our train departure was creeping up on us, and we still had to eat our lunch, so we cut across the back of the houses and were hurrying to main street, when we were stopped dead in our tracks by the sight of the Toy Barn.
The sweet little blue building beckoned us inwards, and so we stepped into a world of little wooden toys, and their Toy Maker.
Everywhere you turned there was a different toy to try out, spin, flick, toss, or whirl.  There was little merry go round like figures that you wound up and then let go, whirling up and down.  There were little punching boxers and pecking chickens.  Puzzles and push toys.  Everything hand made there at the toy barn.
The Toy Maker, showed us his Velocipede scroll saw, (something very hard to explain, that Josiah is very jealous of!) and made us a little puzzle piece out of scrap piece of wood.  We finally tore ourselves away, and rushed up main street to find a place to eat our lunch.
We passed Neil Woodward the local musician picking away at his banjo on the porch, before hustling along to the train station.
We gave one of the conductors (who by the way all seemed to have curly mustaches!;) our ticket, and found our way onto one of the antique, 1890 circa carriages.

The train slowly began to steam and groan, and then after a few air (and ear) splitting whistles, the engine slowly chugged down the track, towing all of us behind her.
A man back in the caboose gave us a running commentary of the passing view, through speakers set at the front of each car.  We went passed Mott lake, through woods, and across a major street in the real city.
When we went round the large loop at the end of our journey to head back "homeward" I was able to get some nice shots of the cute little red caboose tagging along at the end of the line.  We reached "the end of the line" (right back where we started) and hopped off the train to continue our perusal of the village.
One of the things that I had really wanted to do on this trip to Crossroads village, was to ride the "Superior Wheel" housed down by the dock, along with the Parker Carousel.
The Superior Wheel was built in 1910, and is still in running condition.  Or should I say flying condition?
I had never been on a Ferris Wheel before, but the ones I had seen were much much bigger, and as I discovered after I got on the Superior Wheel, much much slower.  What the Superior wheel lacked in size, it made up for in speed, as we flew round and round, catching a glimpse of Mott Lake at the top before plunging down the other side, earth bound.  If you never have ridden on the Superior Wheel, and would like a good healthy laugh while you're at it, just try to hold a conversation with the people in the cage behind you as they come into view for a max of three seconds at the top and at the bottom. Laughter was plentiful!
We made our way off the Superior wheel (once it had stopped of course;) and took slightly tottering steps to the Carousel house where we watched them spin around dizzingly, before heading off to the last section of our tour.
One small cabin next to the blacksmith shop had a manual pump behind it, where Josiah washed off his hands before we headed over to the animal enclosure right next to the cabin.
Dad quickly made friends with the little goat, until he read the sign which said "no feeding animals".  Whooops!:)
We left the cute little goats and walked towards the very back of the village where a beautiful cow and her bull calf lived. 
The cow loved Josiah and insisted on giving him kisses, while the calf was in heaven with Faith scratching it's neck.  Faith and I would have loved to stay there with the cattle, or at least take the baby calf home with us, but as neither were possible we begrudgingly left the winsome creatures for a last stop at the general store, and then homeward.
Grandpa relaxed in the rocking chairs out front while we purchased some of the sweet wares, and then we all headed out from the quaint village.
It was an immensely enjoyable and educational day, and Josiah and Faith and I, at least, cannot wait to once again take a step back in time into Crossroads Village.

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