VILLAGE COLLECTORS

By Staff
1 / 2
'Walnut Lizzie' built by Jerry Goodman.
2 / 2
Chuck Crawford's tractor and engines on display at the show at Courtland Mall.

4077 Day Street Burton, Michigan 48519

Story and photos by Sadonnna Myers

On the first full weekend in March, people could get a pretty
good idea of the fun our club has when we gather to show off the
many things that keep us entertained. The wintertime blues get
chased away as we all converge on Courtland Center Mall, filling
the main concourses with all sorts of things for the visitors to
see. Dressed in our old-style outfits, we give visitors a sneak
peek into why we enjoy doing what we do all summer at Crossroads
Village in Flint, Michigan.

The types of displays are as numerous as we are, and our group
just keeps growing an easy-going, laid-back assembly of folks who
share their enjoyment of things such as: the usual old engines,
tractors, pig oilier, tools, dishes, milk bottles, old medicinal
remedies, clothing, dolls and handwork. Also, there are newer items
like a display of the many different types of baby bottles that
have been made; the basket makers; toys; seeing the ladies work on
the beautiful quilt to be raffled in August; handmade reproduction
furniture; many kaleidoscopes of all types; clowns; photo displays
of various events; and a genuine ‘Walnut Lizzie.’ That car
is a prized piece of workman ship. It’s an exact replica of a
1924 Model T, on an old chassis with black walnut wood. Many people
gaze, and share their stories of those vintage automobiles. Young
and old want to be behind the wheel.

An added plus to the exhibition is the fact that, since it is
held inside the mall, the weather is perfect. The shoppers stroll
by, gawk and talk to their heart’s content.

If you want the full treatment of the hissing and popping hum of
the sounds of these old farm implements running, you’ll just
have to come out to the Village and see them in their setting, a
replica of a small Victorian village set in the 1860s.

The first display of this type, held three years ago, was on a
trial basis to see how it would be received by the Mall and
shoppers/visitors of Flint, Michigan, area. Since then it has
developed quite a following, and interest grows with each
years’ display. As a group, we all try to set up a better and
ever-changing exhibit, to keep it from being the same old thing. It
is fascinating how much enjoyment people get from it, the stories
we share, and the memories of days gone by. The lessons of history
can be so helpful in showing younger people how things have
evolved, as well as how some of the old things always were and
remain useful. Some of our modern contraptions have yet to surpass
some of the old gadgets. The feeling of restoring, making or
building it by hand is such a satisfaction for all of us.

So next year, when cabin fever has you in its grip, come and see
the Village Collectors on March 4-5, 1995. The mall staff is eager
to see us and our goodies.

Gas Engine Magazine
Gas Engine Magazine
Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines