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May 23, 2005
The autos are displayed on two levels and it is an impressive collection. There is a 1930 Duesenberg, which was owned by Gary Cooper. The original price of it was $14,000 and this at a time when the average yearly earnings was under $1400. An 1899 Winton Motor carriage and even a 1962 Corvette. All of them are rare or unusual models. The Lilly’s collect 30 cars and new acquisitions and loans have added to the collection from other collections. We were duly impressed and even the Hooligans enjoyed climbing aboard the one car you are allowed to touch and getting their picture taken.
If this was all there was this museum would be worth a visit but it is only the beginning. Since it was the weekend after Thanksgiving they were opening their winter light show "Spectacle of Lights" that evening and we could see the displays all over the gardens. There is an additional cost to have the light show added to your ticket.
There are over 100 acres of grounds to wander through and they were pretty although the flowers were long since past. We headed to the American History Museum where the collection of historic toys, The Cape Cod Baseball League Hall of Fame and the antique firearm collection entertained us. What the Hooligans particularly liked was the headstone rubbings they were able to do at the display "Art of the Departed" of the gravestones of Cape Cod.
Another walk through the grounds brings you to the Art Museum. Here we found an excellent play area for the kids. They were able to run, climb, and sit in a dinghy. There was sailor gear for them to try on: it was a very hands on area. This is also where the beautiful hand carved antique carousel is located. It is a real beauty. Moreover, this isn’t just for looking at; this is for riding. Even the adults jumped on for a ride.
There is a lot of walking involved in a visit here. There is a bus that can take you from one area to another and though we saw it, we were too anxious to get going to wait for it’s schedule. There is always something going on here, exhibits change and evolve. You can visit their website at www.HeritageMuseumsAndGardens.org to find out what is coming up. None of the restaurants is open in November, so plan accordingly.
From journal Cape Cod with the Hooligans
Sterling Heights, Michigan
June 19, 2002
From journal Cape Cod and Rhododendrons