Ever since a 6 day visit to Dearborn/Detroit 9 years ago, I've been wanting to return, so I'm organising to be there for 4 days next July. I'm planning one day at the Henry Ford, another at Greenfield Village, I'll rent a car to get to the Piquette Ave Plant again and on the last day I'd like to see INSIDE Fair Lane, if possible. The "Leader of the Opposition" and I are planning to stay in the Comfort Inn just near Greenfield Village and according to Google Maps, Fair Lane is not far away. I notice that there is a walkway called the "Rouge Gateway Trail". Is it an easy walk to the Estate from the Village? Does the University of Michigan hold tours inside the Estate? Any other suggestions to enrich our short visit there would be very much appreciated.
Thanks & Cheers,
I've just answered one of my questions by doing a little research. Should have looked before I asked.
It turns out that the Residence is closed for major restoration, but the grounds are still open during the week, closed weekends.
Any walks in the Dearborn woods are going to be accompanied by mosquitoes. Ours are very annoying. My personal recommendation is drive to most places.
If you want to see inside a Ford home, look into the Edsel Ford Estate. You should also visit the Ford gravesite in Detroit near Dearborn. Feel free to PM me if you want more information from a native.
The Piquette Plant is a must!
Pack a big gun.
Watch your back.
Your front & both sides as well .....
Detroit is far from anyone's bucket list of a vacation destination.
The guys who attend the OCF told me that there is a house on the corner of Maple and Fairview Streets that if a candle is lit in the upstairs window just go to the side door and ask for Ms. Bambie. They said she was worth going to see every year.
If your a old car person why would you not want to go in Sept and see the OCF?? Bud.
Detroit is on my bucket list. Has been for a while. Now I am waiting at Sky Harbor to go to the OCF. Most of my friends and family think I am nuts.
Sky Harbor international Airport in Phoenix Arizona?
My oldest sister Marie used to work for Sky Chef back in the late 60s preparing airline meals.
One of my most vivid memories from childhood is a large plastic firecracker filled with candies she brought home one year.
Back then there was only one tower that stood about 30 feet tall.
My dad's brother Len was a machinist who worked at the airport too.
It was pretty exciting to go to the airport back then , we used to run around like maniacs all over the place!
I believe he asked for Ford sites, not travel warnings and Detroit bashing. Where are you from? Any crimes ever happen there?
Definitely the Piquette Plant. While at OCF be sure to visit the Benson Ford Research Center just outside the Village gate. Also, a short trip into Detroit (and not far from the Piquette Plant are the Detroit Historical Museum and the Detroit Institute of Arts - one of the premier art museums in the world.
Had a gun pulled on me 3 years ago in Detroit.
The guy pulled the trigger 50 feet from me.
The gun mis-fired.
This was in a Walmart parking lot during daylight hours
I don't stop in Detroit since then other than to pick up and drop off - I don't even fuel there.
Freighter Jim, Sorry you had such an unfortunate incident in a Walmart parking lot. However, there are no Walmart stores in Detroit.
When I was a Roberts Express contractor, I had harrowing incidents in Detroit,(worst was guy tried to rob me with small knife. But, I had a crowbar) Buffalo,(got caught in no mans'land gang shootout not hit) Cleveland (truck hit by stray bullet).Oh, found a body down a manhole in Gary.And various other incidents I look forward to forgetting. All big cities and metro areas have problems. I had annual pass at museums all over country Detroit has FABULOUS art museum. My point is,Columbus took a chance.Want too see something, go. But as Freighter Jim says, CYAF.
Dearborn is a suburb of Detroit.
Close enough .....
I think if i was in the car hauling business,i would be at the OCF trying to spread good will?
This thread has done exactly what I hoped it would do....generate advice, suggestions and warnings. It also caused a couple of PM's to be sent with more genteel advice.
For all of this help, "Thank You".
I look forward to returning.
PS; Thanks for the excellent map, Uncle Ron.
Rob, show up at Fairlane on a weekday. Look around the grounds and try to find someone working there. Tell them how far you came to see the house. There is a tiny chance you might get a private tour of the entire house. I can't tell you how I know this.
Rob, I used to go in and out of Detroit about once a month for about 3 years. I never had a gun pulled on me. I never even heard a gunshot though I heard a few stories. Currently Chicago seems to have its share of shootouts. Minneapolis was called Murderapolis for quite awhile. Might still be, I don't know. Down in McAllen Texas and across the border in Reynosa the cartels are blowing each other up. All across the country morons are walking into schools and churches and theaters and killing groups of people. I have a permit that says I can carry a handgun pretty much everywhere I go. So I carry one. This is the United States. It's become a dangerous place to live. It's always been a bit of a risk to travel in this country. But I love it and will take every opportunity to go see as much of it as I can. So Rob, come on over and enjoy Detroit and Dearborn and if you get a chance every other place you can think of. You'll love it. And, when you get home come on the forum and tell us what you saw.
Did anyone bring up the " Old Car Festival" this weekend at Greenfield Village?
I'll be there for this weekend flying into Detroit Tomorrow.
I have never been to this event before and it should be a blast.
If you want to PM me Rob I'll be in Dearborn for the next week in and out of the archives at the museum.
Watch out for the Ford Model K drivers at the village this weekend. They can go much faster than everyone else.
Stop in to the Piquette Plant, Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, while you are here.
I'll be there... you wouldn't recognize downtown Detroit from 8 years ago! Multiple s t adiuns.. football, baseball, work'n on a new soccer stadium, etc. I work in 'midtown'. Las t year was my first visit to the OCF... wouldn't miss it now. Love the old cars driving at night . My wife volunteers at the Village and Museum... I just joined the Piquette Plant group, the Piquette T's, and the Casual T's. Guess I'm stuck now!!
Oh, Ron... that's a great map! I hadn't seen it before!
Michael Garrison - You mentioned,......"I have a permit that says I can carry a handgun pretty much everywhere I go,"
That would be,....only in your state of Minnesota, right? That's the problem I have with such "permits",....a person would have to be careful about going out of state and perhaps getting stopped for a traffic violation or, God forbid, involvement a traffic accident or something, and ending up "in trouble" due to forgetting about "carrying" but being out of state.
I'd love to be there for the OCF. How good would it be to have my Australian bodied '21 tourer there. We've extended an already booked holiday to Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks to include these 4 days of Fording around Detroit.
This will be my eighth trip to the USofA, but only my second to the Eastern side.
Again, "Thanks" for the advice. Its much appreciated.
Me at Fair Lane in 2007 (couldn't get in then either)
Harold, you're absolutely correct and that's why I said "pretty much everywhere I go". When I said it the way I did, it was to say I respect the establishments that ask me to not carry. That would also include the state's that aren't allowing reciprocity with Minnesota.
Because of the training I went through in the military and the additional instruction required to get my permit, I feel I'm quite capable of carrying wisely and knowing my limits.
Also, it's not that hard to find which states would not honor my right to carry permit. A simple search on the internet reveals it quite well.
Rob ... hope to see you there! ... And welcome to Detroit/Dearborn! We went to Fair Lane, as well on a weekend and was surprised to see it closed. This was just about a month ago. So .. so far .. you've 'Fared' better than I!
Rob, that's a nice picture of you at Fairlane. Someday, you'll get to see the inside probably.
I understand that it won't re-open until 2020 when the renovations are done, but can't verify that.
I was walking around Fairlane this morning and they were setting up for an event. I was able to look in the front door. One security guard told me that it might be open for tours next year.
Freighter Jim, I take GREAT exception to your comments about Detroit.
Yes, Detroit has had it's problems -- like all big cities -- but is in the midst of an incredible turn-around.
Neighborhoods are being cleaned up, abandoned houses are being torn down and turned into clean, well kept up vacant lots or urban farming. Downtown Detroit is alive with suburbanites patronizing the many new restaurants and other venues opening in the area. Many younger people are moving into converted, previously vacant properties that have been turned into beautiful lofts. A lot of new buildings are going up and many more are planned, including shopping districts. Businesses are moving back into or into the city. I could go on and on about the city's turnaround, but you should see it for yourself, although I doubt you will.
And you can't beat the spirit, optimism and tenacity of Detroiters.
When's the last time you were in Chicago? A great town but the murder and crime rates are off the charts.
Is your hometown completely crime free??
Marty - Haven't been to Detroit since I was a kid (had an uncle in Wyandotte) but it sounds like Detroit is doing the same as Pittsburgh did, huh?
I have enjoyed every trip I've been fortunate enough to take to Detroit and Dearborn. As mentioned earlier, every city has it's risks for strangers and locals (as can rural areas too). I've taxied downtown and recommend the National Automotive Library on Gratiot St. (spelling) if you are interested in research. Benson Library is a must while at the Henry Ford. As mentioned the Piquette plant is a great visit, and getting better all the time (with additions such as T #220).
Personally I like to visit or stay at the Dearborn Inn.
Enjoy your visit........
I have been to Detroit and the "must see" Ford Museum. I will admit that I had a few uncomfortable moments on the unmanned overhead downtown rail system, (I was staying at the Renaissance Center) but I have also had some anxious moments elsewhere. If you use your head about where you go - especially if you are alone - and maintain what pilots call situational awareness, you should be fine.
If you drive by Edsel Ford High School on Rotunda Drive, tell them Bob said "hi". Haven't been back since graduated, 44 years ago.
Be neat if the 45th reunion was around September and I could do both in my Model T.
Used to work at the museum as an actor at the Ford Theatre doing, Our American Cousin, Shenendoa, Peter Pan, etc.