#THF90: Creating Greenfield Village
February 20, 2019 THF 90
Clinton Inn (now Eagle Tavern) on its original site in Clinton, Mich., mid-1920s. THF237242
The dilapidated 1831 stagecoach inn had stood on the Chicago Road in Clinton for almost 100 years. Ella Smith, its owner, still lived in the badly deteriorated building. As Henry Ford’s agents stood inside the crumbling structure, they worried it might collapse. One of Ford’s assistants observed, “There was only one man in 4,000 that would consider it anything but a pile of junk.” Yet, Henry Ford’s vision and resources assured that this early 1830s inn--built when Michigan was still a territory--survived.
The Clinton Inn (now Eagle Tavern) in Greenfield Village, August 1929. THF123747
By summer 1929, the inn stood--restored--on the village green, as Greenfield Village continued to take shape around it.
You can find more Eagle Tavern artifacts in our digital collections.
Jeanine Head Miller is Curator of Domestic Life at The Henry Ford. Learn more here about The Henry Ford's history as we celebrate our 90th year.
by Jeanine Head Miller, Michigan, THF90, Greenfield Village history, Greenfield Village buildings, Greenfield Village, Eagle Tavern