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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Westland in Wayne County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Nankin Mills

The Power of Water

 
 
Nankin Mills: The Power of Water Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 18, 2016
1. Nankin Mills: The Power of Water Marker
Inscription.
Henry Ford wasn't the first to come here.
Early Native Americans gathered along the Rouge River for hunting and fishing. European settlers valued Rouge River waterpower, and the building you see here today was built as a gristmill in the mid-1800s. Henry Ford visited Nankin Mills as a child with his father to grind family grain. His fascination with waterpower led him to later purchase the mill to produce screws and dies for one of his Village Industries. Today Nankin Mills houses the Wayne County Parks offices and Interpretive Center.

You Auto Know
As a Ford plant, the hydroelectric generator here produced excess power that was donated to the village across Ann Arbor Trail known as Pikes Peak.
 
Erected by Motorcities National Heritage Area, National Park Service.
 
Location. 42° 20.881′ N, 83° 22.238′ W. Marker is in Westland, Michigan, in Wayne County. Marker is on Edward N Hines Drive 0.2 miles south of Ann Arbor Trail, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 33175 Ann Arbor Trail, Westland MI 48185, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Nankin Millers House (about 400 feet
<i>Top left image</i> image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 18, 2016
2. Top left image
Long a landmark on Ann Arbor Trail, Henry Ford purchased the Nankin gristmill in 1918, and initially renovated it for screw production. Photo courtesy of Wayne County Parks.
away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Nankin Mills (about 400 feet away); "Learning by Doing" (approx. 0.2 miles away); Chief Tonquish Burial Site (approx. 0.8 miles away); Perrinsville School (approx. one mile away); Perrinsville (approx. 1.1 miles away); A Nankin Pioneer (approx. 1.5 miles away); Newburgh Cemetery (approx. 1.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Westland.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNative AmericansSettlements & Settlers
 
<i>Top right image</i> image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 18, 2016
3. Top right image
In the 1930s, the bucolic farm setting of Nankin Mills made for a pleasant work place. Photo from the collection of The Henry Ford.
<i>Bottom left image</i> image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 18, 2016
4. Bottom left image
By 1937, Ford retooled Nankin from screw manufacturing to dies, stencil and engraving operations, employing over 50 men. Photo courtesy of Wayne County Parks.
<i>Bottom middle image</i> image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 18, 2016
5. Bottom middle image
Nankin Mills was the source of dies for Ford employee identification badges around the world. Patterns for dies could be copied with the Dietrich pantograph, shown above, on a scale of 1/350th of the master. Photo courtesy of Wayne County Parks.
<i>Bottom right image</i> image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, August 18, 2016
6. Bottom right image
Thomas Edison helped Henry Ford install the hydroelectric generator, seen inside the glass powerhouse. Fred Voss, powerhouse operator in the 1946 photo above, adjusts the rate of water flow to the turbine. Photo courtesy of Wayne County Parks.
Nankin Mills: The Power of Water Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, October 21, 2016
7. Nankin Mills: The Power of Water Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 324 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.   6. submitted on , by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.   7. submitted on , by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page was last revised on October 26, 2016.
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