Showing posts from 2012


Preservation owes a lot to Henry Ford. But in the process of making people aware of the value of the past, he made a number of mistakes. One that modern experts find most objectionable was his uprooting of buildings from their original sites, thereby stripping them of their historical context, all in the name of historical preservation. (The above came from a Detroit Free Press newspaper article from, I believe, the early 1980's.) I've heard this argument countless times during discussions. I've also read newspaper and magazine editorials concerning this practice. And it never ceases to amaze me that some can't see the forest for the trees. Case in point are the many small localized historic structures dotting the maps that still remain on (or very close to) their original site, such as my own hometown's 1872 school house. We've had many, many public activities held inside the school house, much of it in such a way as to give publi

Cotton Gin Mill and the Harahan Sorghum (Sugar) Mill - Buildings No Longer In Greenfield Village

The cotton Gin Mill, originally from Richmond Hill Plantation in Ways, Georgia, is said to be the only building on the plantation that remained standing after General Sherman marched his troops through the district on their way to the sea in late 1864. The Cotton Gin Mill The Sorghum Mill, believed to be from the 1850's, was reassembled from an old sugar mill found in Louisiana near Harahan not far from New Orleans. During the autumn, sorghum cane raised in fields was fed into the shredding and roller-press machinery to extract the juice.The juice would then be heated in pans over a fire to be made into syrup. However, when Greenfield Village would make it, the liquid was instead passed into shallow defecating tanks where it was heated by steam pipes. It is estimated that 30 to 40 gallons of syrup could be made in one day. The Sorghum (Sugar) Mill These are the only photos I was able to obtain of both the Rice and Sugar mills, and I had to get them from an out-of-print