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Nankin Mills in Westland, Michigan

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Nankin Mills in Westland, Michigan is a former grist mill built before the Civil War. It was purchased by Henry Ford as one of his Village Industry plants. Now it serves as an interpretative center ...

Nankin Mills in Westland, Michigan is a former grist mill built before the Civil War. It was purchased by Henry Ford as one of his Village Industry plants. Now it serves as an interpretative center and the home of Wayne County Parks. Learn more at nankinmills.org.

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Nankin Mills in Westland, Michigan Nankin Mills in Westland, Michigan Presentation Transcript

  • Nankin Mills A Connection to our Past, a Resource for our Future
  • Drawing of what the milllooked like in the 1880’s
  • A small community calledPike’s Peak grew up aroundthe mill.
  • A thriving town,Pikes Peak had alivery stable,general store, postoffice and more.
  • Henry Ford purchased the mill in 1916 to serveas one of his Village Industry auto plants. HereFord stands on the porch with Floyd Bennett,the Mill’s former owner.
  • Ford purchased a number of former grist mills inSoutheast Michigan to serve as small auto plants.
  • THEN NOWFord wanted to make use of water power. He hadThomas Edison install a hydroelectric generator.(It is presently undergoing restoration. Finally!)
  • The rural countrysidesurrounding Nankin Mills.
  • Mill workers at their stations.
  • Ford made a number of changes toNankin Mills over the years, includingadding an annex.
  • The plant manager and his family lived inthe nearby tenant house built around thesame time as the mill. It is not currentlyopen except during a few special eventseach year.
  • The Ford factory in the 1940’sshortly before it closed and wassold to Wayne County.
  • The Mill reopened in 1957 as anature center under MaryEllsworth
  • The nature center and mill closed tothe public in 1980.
  • The mill fell into disrepair and there was talk ofdemolishing it. A group called the Friends ofNankin Mills was incorporated in 1988 to helpsave it. Worked with Wayne county and City ofWestland , they secured funding to save andrestore it.
  • Once again the mill is open andserving the local community.
  • How does it serve? The Nankin Mills Interpretive Center tells the cultural and natural history of Western Wayne County.
  • How does it serve? Nankin Mills draws tourists interested in auto history. The Mill is part of the MotorCities National Heritage Area , created by the National Park Service.
  • How does it serve? The Mill offers tours, events, classes and group activities.
  • How does The Friends of Nankin Millscontinue to serve the Mill and community? They continue to sponsor activities and fundraisers including an annual mill lighting ceremony (with a visit from Santa); help fund exhibits; assist with activities; serve as docents; and much more.
  • We invite you to visit our mill and interpretivecenter. Learn and have fun. And become amember of the Friends of Nankin Mills, if youwish. Help Nankin Mills continue to serve as acommunity resource. A (not quite accurate) representation of Nankin Mills by Michigan painter Kathy Jakobsen.