In 2019, our annual Civil War Remembrance program in Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford featured a re-created U.S. Christian Commission Coffee wagon brought in by Chaplain Alan Farley and his wife Faith. This very unique and incredible object was an unmeasurable enhancement to our program and was very popular with our guests and participants. Each of the three morning of the program, we hitched two Percheron horses from our Equine Operations to the coffee wagon and toured Greenfield Village visiting the camps to deliver steaming hot coffee and fresh cookies.
The Percheron horses, a perfectly appropriate draft animal of the Civil War era, made a great immersion experience for all as Chaplain Farley and one of our equine drivers rode from camp to camp. At each stop, Chaplain Farley called out “Hot Coffee! Fresh Cookies!” and the soldiers and civilians alike would line up behind the now stationary coffee wagon. Chaplain Farley administered coffee as well as spiritual guidance to each participant that excitedly waited to receive nourishment for the body and the soul.
When the coffee wagon was not making its rounds, it was parked with Chaplain Farley’s U.S. Christian Commission camp and display. Though coffee was brewed fresh each morning at the wagon, The Henry Ford’s food service assisted in keeping up demand as nearly 45 gallons of coffee was served to participants and guests during the 3 day program.
Chaplain Farley, his wife Faith and their colleagues who present the U.S. Christian Commission display are a pure joy and blessing to work with. They bring excellent programming elements and engage guests that is a perfect fit for our institution’s mission and Civil War Remembrance program purpose.
We look forward to working with this group for years to come and are excited for our future guests to be inspired by the stories and history that they so willingly share.
Brian James Egan, Executive Producer
The Henry Ford