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The Henry Ford Museum

The Henry Ford Museum paranormal

Photo by: Marianne Donley
Location submitted by: sdonley on 08/03/2017
DBA Approved: Y

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PANICd#: 1909

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Henry Ford decided on October 21, 1929, as the dedication date for his new museum and village - marking the fiftieth anniversary of Thomas Edison's first successful experiment with a suitable approach to manufacturing an incandescent lamp.

20900 Oakwood Boulevard
Dearborn , MI 48124
Phone: (313) 982-6001
Open to the public: Yes

Lat: 42.3002415
Lon: -83.23331610000002

Database Summary:

Demographic Rank: 6
History: 3
Stories: 1
Claims: 4
Evidence: 0
Resources: 5
Retrievals: 7416
Vistor Rating: 0.0
Votes: 0

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History information is some background and history about the location. This is meant to be a basic summary. Below the history records you will find sources in which you can click on to find out more information. There may be multiple history records per location.

Although Henry Ford became one of the world's wealthiest and most powerful industrialists, he never forgot the values of the rural life he had left behind growing up on a farm. His interest in collecting began in 1914, as he searched for McGuffey Readers to verify a long-remembered verse from one of his old grade school recitations. Soon, the clocks and watches he had loved tinkering with and repairing since childhood grew into a collection of their own. Before long, he was accumulating the objects of ordinary people, items connected with his heroes and from his own past, and examples of industrial progress.

In 1919, Henry Ford learned that his birthplace was at risk because of a road improvement project. He took charge - moving the farmhouse and restoring it to the way he remembered it from the time of his mother's death in 1876, when he was 13. He and his assistants combed the countryside for items that he remembered and insisted on tracking down.

He followed this up by restoring his old one-room school, Scotch Settlement School; the 1686 Wayside Inn in South Sudbury, Massachusetts (with a plan to develop a "working" colonial village); and the 1836 Botsford Inn in Farmington, Michigan, a stagecoach inn where he and his wife Clara had once attended old-fashioned dances. These restorations gave Ford many opportunities to add to his rapidly growing collections while honing his ideas for his own historic village.

In the early 1920s, Henry Ford moved his growing hoard of antiques into a vacated tractor assembly building. The objects fit every description. Large items hung from rafters; smaller ones sat on makeshift benches and racks. Watches and clocks hung along the wall. Henry and his wife Clara enjoyed sharing their relics with others. Once people learned Ford was collecting objects for a museum, they flooded his office with letters offering to give or sell him antiques.

Ford also sent out assistants to help him find and acquire the kinds of objects he felt were important to preserve. Goods intended for the museum arrived in Dearborn almost daily - sometimes by the train-car full. By the late 1920s, Henry Ford had become the primary collector of Americana in the world.

Two of Henry Ford's assistants (Frank Campsall and Charles Newton) stand with Henry Ford (right), amidst their latest acquisitions in 1928.

Added by: sdonley on 07/31/2019 DB#:461

Added by: sdonley on 07/31/2019 DB#:462

Ford's historic village was to be organized around a village green, to include a courthouse, town hall, church, general store, tavern, and school. Homes were installed along a road beyond the green. Industrial buildings, such as a carding mill, sawmill, and gristmill, were made operational. A centerpiece of the Village was the re-creation of the Menlo Park, New Jersey, laboratory complex where Thomas Edison had invented his electric lighting system.

Henry Ford engaged Ford Motor Company draftsman Edward J. Cutler to draw up plans. The first buildings began arriving in 1928. Laborers dug foundations, reconstructed buildings, cleared trees, laid out roads, and hauled supplies through muddy fields. Some buildings were designed right in the Village, at Ford's request.

While Cutler labored in the muddy fields of Greenfield Village, architect Robert O. Derrick was designing a large indoor museum adjacent to the historical village to house the objects Ford had collected. Derrick suggested that the facade should resemble Independence Hall and related buildings of Philadelphia, with a large "Exhibition Hall" in back.

Since Henry Ford had rejected the notion of storage rooms, nearly everything had to be exhibited out in the open. The twelve-acre museum contained a glorious assemblage of stuff. To Ford, that assemblage represented the evolution of technological progress.

For nearly a decade after the museum officially opened to the public in 1933, visitors found it a work in progress. The exhibits would not be completed until the early 1940s.

Henry Ford decided on October 21, 1929, as the dedication date for his new museum and village - marking the fiftieth anniversary of Thomas Edison's first successful experiment with a suitable approach to manufacturing an incandescent lamp.

The night of the "Light's Golden Jubilee" celebration, crowds cheered as President Hoover, Edison, and Ford ceremoniously arrived in a train pulled by an 1850s locomotive.

After an elegant dinner in the museum, the three men went out to the restored Menlo Park Laboratory in Greenfield Village. There, the 82-year-old Edison re-created the lighting of his incandescent lamp. The event was broadcast live over national radio.

Henry Ford named his new complex The Edison Institute of Technology, to honor his friend and lifelong hero Thomas Edison.


Added by: sdonley on 07/31/2019 DB#:463


Stories are just that. Stories and personal accounts that have been reported about the location.

Added by: sdonley on 07/31/2019 DB#:1458

Paranormal Claims

Here are the paranormal claims for this location. These have been found through Internet research, reports from members, or reports from personal interviews. To add a claim, please contact, and we will review and add your information.

Claim # Added Added By Claim
2949 07/31/2019 sdonley Strange unexplained footsteps have been reported.
2950 07/31/2019 sdonley Strange cold spots have been reported.
2951 07/31/2019 sdonley The apparition of JFK has been reported by his car.
2952 07/31/2019 sdonley The apparition of Lincoln has been reported by his chair.

Paranormal Evidence

Paranormal evidence is based on claims that have been reported for this location. There can be several types of evidence; however, we have grouped them based on media type for better organization. Here you will find evidence that are logs, audio, video, or photographic.

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Additional Resources

This is a collection of Internet resources for this location. This section will house links to other websites that contain information related to history, claims, investigations, or even the location's website.

10 things you shouldn't miss at the Henry Ford Museum
Added: 07/31/2019 By: sdonley
Information about the location, see link for details.
History Goes Bump In The Night: HGB Ep. 207 - Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village
Added: 07/31/2019 By: sdonley
Podcast interviewing a former employee that discusses paranormal activity at the location.
A Visit to America's Real First Theme Park - The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village
Added: 07/31/2019 By: sdonley
Information about the location, see link for details.
Cold Spots
Added: 07/31/2019 By: sdonley
Information about the location, see link for details.
Greenfield Village | America's Haunted Roadtrip
Added: 07/31/2019 By: sdonley
Information about the location, see link for details.

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