By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
WYANDOTTE – Pie, ice cream and camaraderie, combined with picture-perfect June weather, made for a successful social June 26 at the Ford-MacNichol Home, hosted by the city’s museum and the Historical Society.
Museum Director Jesse Rose said the event, once an annual tradition, was resurrected in 2019, before going on hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I hope it will be a yearly event from now on,” he said.
Rose said the event serves as a fundraiser and a way to introduce new people to the Historical Museum campus.
“It is a joint fundraiser between both the city’s museums and the Historical Society,” he said. “We put this on together.”
Rose said the ice cream was donated by Stroh’s Ice Cream Parlour, 3162 Biddle Ave., and the pies were provided at a discount from Elliott’s Bakery, 2636 W. Jefferson Ave. Trenton.
He said the Downriver Region Model A Restorers Club brought in the vintage cars displayed on the lawn.
“It really helps get people here, too, because they see all the vehicles and it brings them here,” Rose said. “And, they get to see the museum and have pie and ice cream.”
He said they had lawn games set up which harken back to another era, including croquet, jump rope, sidewalk chalk, peg board and a disc golf station utilizing, appropriately enough, pie tins as discs.
“Apparently, Frisbee originated from throwing pie tins,” Rose said.
He noted that ladies’ clubs would often hold socials like this decades ago.
“It does harken back to another time, when this kind of social event would get the community together,” Rose said. “To be together, or to help raise awareness about something, or raise funds.”
He said he was glad they could use the wrap-around porch on the Ford-MacNichol Home, even with the restoration work in progress.
“People really enjoy it, because you get that breeze, and it’s just a beautiful look, a beautiful feeling,” Rose said. “We are so grateful to the community’s response to this event, but even more than anything, our lifeblood runs on our volunteers, and we have a wonderful core group.
“When you walk into the museum, you are going to be met with a lot of smiling faces, which are all volunteers that are very passionate about the museum, and we can’t do it without them.”
One of the volunteers, docent Traci Hopper, who was in charge of the lawn games, said people are tired of being inside.
“It’s fabulous to be out here today,” she said.
Hopper said the games were all popular in days gone by.
“I’ve had children out here playing, and some adults,” she said. “Croquet is a little difficult if you’ve never played it before.”
Hopper said tours of the Ford-MacNichol Home are available from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, March through October, and in December.
“It’s just a fabulous place to learn some history from Wyandotte,” she said. “It’s nice to see the community coming together and having some fun in an historical setting.”
Hopper said Wyandotte has a rich history, and the museum offers many opportunities for people to learn about it in a fun way.
Nancy Bozzo of the city’s Cultural and Historical Commission said she was glad that they were able to hold events again.
“It is something for the community to do and to enjoy, being outside, together, and to enjoy our beautiful museum,” she said.
Attendee Kiana Sierra of Wyandotte, who was enjoying the event, said she loves it because it brings residents together.
“I come for Christmas and Halloween every year, so I love that there is something going on in the summer, too,” she said.
She said she invited her friends from Lincoln Park to join her.
“Inviting them to a Wyandotte event is really cool,” she said. “And the pie was really good. I loved it.”
Attendee Gayle McClure of Southgate said she’s been to events at the museum before, and it’s a fun Downriver experience.
“It’s relaxing, and it’s a nice day out,” she said.
Her friend and fellow attendee Julie Icenogle of Wyandotte said she was glad to see the event return following its pandemic pause.
“It’s so relaxing, and they are willing to tell you about anything in the house,” she said. “It’s a nice family thing to do.”
Jim Smith of Belleville, who brought his 1929 Ford Model A, a 60-B leatherback, to the social, said he bought it in 1987, restored the chassis in the late 1990s and just recently completely the rest of its restoration.
“It has a lot of wood in it, so I just started painting and replacing wood about four years ago,” he said.
Jim Smith said the Model A was easy to work on compared to modern cars.
His wife, Shirley Smith, said she enjoys spending time with the other Model A restorers, as well as the ice cream.
She said it is fun to ride around in the Model A when the weather isn’t too hot, otherwise the interior can be uncomfortable.
Jim Smith said he enjoys taking his Model A to events like the social.
“Everybody likes to look at them,” he said. “They enjoy the history of them.”