Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Wyandotte in Wayne County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Michigan Alkali Company

 
 
Michigan Alkali Company Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, November 20, 2016
1. Michigan Alkali Company Marker
Side A
Inscription.
Side A
On October 17, 1890, Captain John Baptiste Ford (1811-1903) purchased this property along the Detroit River. He established the Michigan Alkali Company here in 1893. Ford had financial interests in several glass companies, and he chose the site for its proximity to resources needed to produce soda ash, a primary ingredient in the manufacture of glass. The deep strata of pure salt beneath the site was most important. Water from the Detroit River was used to extract the salt in solution form. The salt was used with limestone to produce a variety of sodium-based industrial and consumer products. The limestone was shipped from company owned quarries near Alpena. In the early years, Michigan Alkali's products included soda ash, baking soda and lye.

Side B
Since incorporating as the Michigan Alkali Company in 1893, these chemical works have played an integral role in the development of Wyandotte. The founder of the company, John Baptiste Ford (1811 - 1903), believed in corporate benevolance and generous donations were made to the city. The corporation continued this practice after Ford's death. One contribution was the first Wyandotte General Hospital, erected in 1926. In 1943, Michigan Alkali consolidated with the J.B. Ford Company Glassworks to become the Wyandotte Chemical Corporation. In 1969 it became

Michigan Alkali Company Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, November 20, 2016
2. Michigan Alkali Company Marker
Side B
part of the BASF Group of companies, headquartered in Germany. BASF continues to use this Georgian Revival administration building, designed by the Detroit firm of Chittenden and Kotting and completed in 1907.
 
Erected 1992 by Bureau of History, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number L1790B.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
 
Location. 42° 13.082′ N, 83° 9.011′ W. Marker is in Wyandotte, Michigan, in Wayne County. Marker is on Biddle Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1609 Biddle Avenue, Wyandotte MI 48192, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. John Eberts House (approx. mile away); Marx Home (approx. mile away); Wyandotte Purple Heart Memorial (approx. 0.8 miles away); Wyandotte World War I Memorial (approx. 0.8 miles away); Wyandotte Vietnam Memorial (approx. 0.8 miles away); Wyandotte World War II Memorial (approx. 0.8 miles away); America's First Bessemer Steel Mill (approx. one mile away); Council Point / Pontiac's Council (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wyandotte.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Michigan Alkali Company Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Pfingsten, November 20, 2016
3. Michigan Alkali Company Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 2, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 25, 2016, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 129 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 25, 2016, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
Paid Advertisement