Stage Old Time Exhibit in the Mall
'Walnut Lizzie' built by Jerry Goodman.
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.