Westland in Wayne County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
"Learning by Doing"
at Ford's Nankin Mill Schoolhouse
Henry Ford established this one-room schoolhouse
for children of workers at his nearby Nankin Mill village industry plant producing automotive parts. The rural school operated from 1937 to 1946 as part of Ford's Edison Institute School System, encouraging "learning by doing." Beyond the basics like reading, writing, and math, subjects included vocational skills, health classes and etiquette. Students maintained garden plots, and they enjoyed swimming and skating on the nearby Nankin millpond. In addition to building the school, Henry Ford paid teachers salaries, school taxes and student medical and dental expenses.
You Auto Know
During the 1930s, Ford operated 23 rural schools, some as far away as Massachusetts and Georgia.
Erected by Motorcities National Heritage Area, National Park Service.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Education. In addition, it is included in the MotorCities National Heritage Area series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1937.
Location. 42° 21.062′ N, 83° Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 33175 Ann Arbor Trail, Westland MI 48185, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Nankin Millers House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Nankin Mills (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named Nankin Mills (approx. ¼ mile away); Chief Tonquish Burial Site (approx. 0.7 miles away); Perrinsville School (approx. 1.2 miles away); Perrinsville (approx. 1.2 miles away); Newburgh Cemetery (approx. 1½ miles away); A Nankin Pioneer (approx. 1.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Westland.
Also see . . .
1. A Unique Educational Vision. (Submitted on August 18, 2016, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.)
2. School that Ford built makes move to new home in Livonia. Detroit News article about the move of the Nankin School. (Submitted on October 26, 2016, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 18, 2016, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 395 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on August 18, 2016, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. 8. submitted on October 26, 2016, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. 9. submitted on June 18, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.