LOCATION: 402 N. Ann Arbor Street, 4 blks. north of Downtown Saline, near Bennett Street (traffic light) and the museum is set back from the road. During open hours, the railroad lights are blinking. Look for the red caboose and the depot will be right there. (View "Saline Museum" for more information)
The Kitchen Garden
Over the years fashions in architecture and clothing changed as did fashions in vegetable and flower gardens. During the settlement period in Michigan (approximately 1820-1850) farmers planted subsistent crops, that is, enough for their family with part of a large crop being bartered with the neighbors. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the 1850s, machinery made farming easier and it eventually became a business so that subsistence farming was no longer necessary.
By the 1900s each farmstead had its own kitchen garden and the layout of the planting went from raised beds to a simple style with vegetable and fruit plants arranged in long rows. The Rentschler farmhouse was built in 1906, so the kitchen garden would have been planted in a flat area with rows of plants. Fencing was important to keep animals out.
Plants and seeds available from early 20th century seed catalogs include Brandywine tomatoes, Country Gentleman sweet corn, American Wonder peas, Bull Nose Pepper, Early Ohio Potato, Pattypan Squash, and Quaker Pie Pumpkin. There also may have been a raspberry bed and rhubarb. Minnie Ruckman operated a greenhouse in Saline for half a century, so this also was a possible source of plants.
Since the Rentschler family was of German heritage, the family may have brought seeds from Germany. Some of the common vegetables that are of German heritage include kohlrabi (whose name means “cabbage turnip), black salsify, white asparagus (also known as “white gold”) green asparagus, savoy cabbage, turnip greens, potatoes (in particular variety: Barnburger Hornia), and horseradish (variety: Spreewald), onions and garlic.
Today the Rentschler kitchen garden is beautifully maintained by volunteers, so be sure to take a look when you come to visit.
Spring is here! Time to visit area history museums
Since Covid has been so unpredictable, it’s probably a good idea to check the museum websites for hours before you plan to visit. The following list includes some of the area’s history museums.
Rentschler Farm Museum Location: 1265 E. Michigan Avenue just east of Saline, Michigan. Website: salinehistory.og. The farm will officially open on May 7, 2022 at 11:00 am.
Saline Depot and History Museum Location: 402 N. Ann Arbor Street, 4 blocks north of Downtown Saline near Bennett Street (traffic light). Open 11 am to 3 pm Saturdays
Cobblestone Farm 2781 Packard Road Ann Arbor, MI 48108 Office hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. 734.794.6230 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kempf House Center for Local History 312 S Division St Ann Arbor, MI 48104 734) 994-4898 http://kempfhousemuseum.org Open Sunday 1-4 pm
Chelsea Area Society’s Museum 128 Jackson Street, Chelsea, MI 48118 (734) 476-2010 email@example.com Open noon to 3pm on Saturdays
Dexter Area Historical Museum 3443 Inverness Street Dexter, MI 48130 The museum is closed December-April. It will be open again in May on Friday and Saturday afternoons 1-3. Contact the museum at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at (734) 426-2519.
Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum Located in Depot Town, 100 E. Cross Ypsilanti Open Tuesday -Sunday, 1-4 pm
Ypsilanti Museum and Archives 220 North Huron Street Ypsilanti, MI 48197 (734) 217-8236 Email:email@example.com The Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Docents are available to guide visitors through the Museum. Admission is free, and donations are appreciated.
Michigan Firehouse Museum 110 W Cross St, Ypsilanti, MI 48197 (734) 547-0663 info@MichiganFirehouseMuseum.org Welcoming visitors Thursday - Sunday 12:00pm - 4:00pm Admission
The Museum on Main Street Washtenaw County Historical Society 500 N. Main Street Ann Arbor, MI Open Saturdays and Sundays, 12 Noon-4pm Weekdays by Appointment call 734-662-9092 or email firstname.lastname@example.org The next exhibit opening on Sunday, April 24, 2022
African American Cultural and History Museum of Washtenaw County 1528 Pontiac Trail Ann Arbor, MI 48105
734-761-1717 email@example.com open on Saturdays and Sundays, from 12 noon-4pm.1528 Pontiac Trail, Ann Arbor.
The above is a photograph of literature given to the SAHS by the Village of Saline, Scotland, UK.