Traverse City in Grand Traverse County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The J.E. Greilick Factory
Historic Traverse City
— The West Bay Waterfront —
From any perspective this location marks the most historic industrial site in the Grand Traverse region. Here the Greilick family produced the woodwork, both interior and exterior, that finished the majority of the Victorian homes in the area along with all the woodwork for early Northern Michigan Asylum buildings. Years later on this site, the Parsons Company would develop "numerical control of machine tools" an accomplishment recognized worldwide as the beginning of the second industrial age.
Godfrey Greilick, an Austrian contractor and builder, arrived in Traverse City in 1856 along with seven sons. A short time later he established a commercial sawmill a mile north of this site on the bay. This mill was later operated by the sons as Greilick Brothers.
In 1867 with the assistance of Hannah, Lay & Company, the oldest son of Godfrey Greilick, Joseph E., established a millwork factory in the original water-powered mill of the Boardmans to supply finished woodwork to homes in the area. He specialized in the manufacture of window sash, doors, blinds, interior trim, frames, store fronts, and flooring. In 1879 a large
Following the death of Joseph E. Greilick in 1892, the business was incorporated as the J.E. Greilick Company with Clarence, Ernest, and Mrs. J.E. Greilick as stockholders. Within a decade the firm had over a hundred employees and had added store fixtures, kitchen cupboards, and bookcases to the product line. The firm became the Greilick Manufacturing Company in 1915 specializing in upholstered chairs and library tables before closing during the Great Depression.
Erected by Grand Traverse Pioneer & Historical Society, Clinton and Martha Kennard, and the Oleson Foundation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1856.
Location. 44° 46.134′ N, 85° 38.024′ W. Marker is in Traverse City, Michigan, in Grand Traverse County. Marker is at the intersection of Grandview Parkway (U.S. 31) and Division Street (U.S. 31), on the right when traveling west on Grandview Parkway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Traverse City MI 49684, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Second Industrial Revolution (here, next to this marker); Korean War Memorial (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Friends Meetinghouse (approx. half a mile away); City Opera House (approx. 0.6 miles away); Ladies Library Association / Ladies Library Building (approx. ¾ mile away); Central United Methodist Church (approx. 0.8 miles away); Novotny's Saloon (approx. 0.8 miles away); Park Place Hotel (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Traverse City.
Also see . . .
1. Greilick Family Interments in Oakwood Cemetery, Traverse City MI. Find A Grave website entry (Submitted on September 27, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. "Village of Traverse City" History Excerpt from H. R. Page & Co. (1884). Genealogy Trails website entry (Submitted on September 27, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 17, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 26, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 276 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 27, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.