Historic village reflects Adventist lifestyle, highlights Dr. Kellogg
ONE TANK TRIP: BATTLE CREEK, MICH.
The medical advances that have come about in our country are truly amazing.
When you think of the treatments, vaccines and machines available in the present day, it's hard to imagine that people once died of illnesses that afflict very few today.
It also wasn't all that long ago that Dr. John Harvey Kellogg was hard at work creating machines and methods for maintaining good health. At the interactive Kellogg Discovery Center on the west end of Battle Creek, you can learn about his career and some of the many health-related inventions he created. Some of his exercise machines may seem silly now, like a machine that vibrates your body, but others caught on, like a rowing machine. The one on display is similar to his model that was used on the Titanic.
Kellogg ran a sanitarium in Battle Creek and was an advocate of holistic medicine, nutrition, exercise and vegetarianism as keys to overall good health.
Exhibits show the sanitarium decades ago when it was booming as a draw for the wealthy looking to extend their longevity. The welcome center also has a small theater for viewing a short documentary on Kellogg and his brother, Will, and their invention of Corn Flakes breakfast cereal. The lower level houses a gift shop.
When the Great Depression hit, the number of rich patients who had frequented the sanitarium dwindled, but it continued operating until World War II when it became an Army hospital. It later was used as a government facility housing federal offices.
It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the 1970s. Now known as the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center, it can be toured for free on weekdays on a limited basis.
A Seventh-Day Adventist, Kellogg's sanitarium was located near an Adventist village. Now called the Historic Adventist Village, the three-block area includes several original buildings, along with some that have been replicated. Some of the restored buildings date back to the 1850s and give a glimpse into what life was like for the spiritual residents of this tight-knit community.
On a tour, a costumed guide takes you through several buildings explaining the housewares and covers the lives of significant figures who founded the village. A meeting house, deacon's home, a log cabin, church and school house are among the structures.
Allow at least a couple hours for a leisurely look at the village and the Kellogg Discovery Center to get a good understanding of the lifestyle. On our tour, our guide asked for volunteers and gave the youngsters an opportunity to see how grueling chores were for children at that time.
Informal tours of the historic neighborhood began in the 1950s and little by little, additional structures were restored and added. The village has regular hours from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but in the off-season only the Kellogg Discovery Center and James and Ellen White home are open for tours from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Appointments can be made for groups of 10 or more.
For more information:
* Dr. John Harvey Kellogg Discovery Center, 411 Champion Street, Battle Creek, Mich., (269) 965-3000, ADVENTISTHERITAGE.ORG
* Historic Adventist Village, 480 West Van Buren Street, Battle Creek, Mich., (269) 965-3000,ADVENTISTHERITAGE.ORG
How to get there: I-80 E to I-94 East to exit 92 Battle Creek to I-94-BR. Go right on Dickman Road, then left on Kendall Street. Left on Jackson Street, right on Wood Street, right on Champion Street.
Admission: Donation requested for admission.
Hours: Sunday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. Memorial Day to Labor Day. Open year round on Saturdays from 2 to 5 p.m.
What to bring:
* Your camera -- for photos of the grounds and historic structures and some of the interesting medical devices invented by Dr. Kellogg
* The whole family -- It's an educational and entertaining visit for any age group. Just be aware that getting a stroller in and out of the many buildings may be difficult and a tight squeeze.
* Pack a bag -- Make it an overnighter and also take in the nearby zoo, a museum or some of the other historic or natural sites.
You'll like: Learning about the lifestyles of the pioneers who settled to form the historic village in the mid-1800s.
Kids will like: The interactive exhibits in the Kellogg Discovery Center offer some early creations for exercise and good health.
And don't miss: Take time to also stop and visit the Binder Park Zoo. There's an amazing African-themed area that transports you to a wildlife park where you're able explore many of the animals native to Africa and even hand feed a giraffe.