The Time Machine - Rosie the Riveter at Work and Home
We took a look at what life was like in Willow Run Village, built for workers who migrated to Ypsilanti to work at the Willow Run Bomber Plant, many from the South. Displays included Victory Gardens, a Kitchen display with a rations demonstration, Swing Dance Demonstrations & Lessons by the EMU Swing Society, kid’s activities and more!
There were a couple of volunteers from the WWII reenactment group 5th Rangers E. Co., one of our original Rosie the Riveters from the Willow Run Bomber Plant rode in the parade, and an actual pilot from WWII. Visitors could walk through our display and see what a small model of a 1940's kitchen may have looked like, and learned about food rationing and the point system for canned goods. They learned about the Victory Gardens and why they were so important as well as some of the farm implements that may have been used to tend the gardens. There was a laundry demonstration where kids could learn to use a washboard & basin and clothes-line for washing clothing and then on to the "Bomber Plant" where they could meet WWII Veteran Pilot, Lt. Col. Rich Pilon, and Volunteers from the 5TH Rangers E CO Re-enactment Group and see actual items from Lt. Col. Rich Pilon's private collection - from his original footlocker. There were display boards showing examples of what the plant and the "Rosie the Riveters" did to help win the war and WWII Era Automobiles to see, and visitors were able to learn about gasoline and tire rationing during the WWII era.
TLC Gardens & Crafts own Teri and Mike Cranson volunteered their time and helped to obtain artifacts to create the authentic look for the display and participated in the trip back in time as well to help with the Victory Garden portion of the display. Shown here are some photos taken that day by either Teri or Mike, Jane Vass (the organizer of this awesome set-up) and Jeannette Gutierrez (whom participated in the parade as Rosie the Riveter, then joined us at the Time Machine).
Please, take a pictorial tour through the event via our photo slideshow. We are hoping to participate again next year for the 2015 Heritage Festival. If we do and you are interested in volunteering or may have items that could be utilized in a larger, more complete display of a Willow Run Village home-site, please email Jane at firstname.lastname@example.org. We might also be seeking artifacts and items of the era to include in the display that are related to life in Willow Run Village during WWII; especially photos. We hope to be able to work with the Festival to continue to educate the present day public on what our ancestors life was like living in Ypsilanti during the war. We'd LOVE to hear from you!