Almost 200 years ago, Flint was founded as a village by a fur trader named Jacob Smith. By the late 19th century, Flint became a leading manufacturer for carriages, which later turned into automobiles. This history has earned Flint the title of “Vehicle City.”
Although the city has come a long way, the roots of Flint are still planted and can be discovered during Be a Tourist in Your Home Town sponsored by the Flint & Genesee Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Mass Transportation Authority.
Starting with Flint’s history in the automotive industry, notable places featured during Be a Tourist include General Motors Durant-Dort Factory One. Dating back to the 1880s, the factory was built by the Flint Woolen Mills company, a cotton textiles company, and later leased to William Crapo Durant and Josiah Dallas Dort, founders of the Durant-Dort Carriage. The current space serves as an archive and research center renovated by General Motors in 2013.
Another attraction rooted in the automotive industry is the UAW Flint Sit-Down Strike Memorial. Dedicated to the men and women of the historic sit-down strike of 1936-1937 at General Motors in Flint, the marble and bronze monument depicts an actual scene from inside the plant during the strike.
In addition, Flint’s history can be discovered through the houses that were built during the automotive boom. One such place is Applewood Estate, the former home of Charles Stewart Mott and his wife Ruth. It is currently maintained by the Ruth Mott Foundation and is open to the public for house and garden tours.
Discover these historic attractions and more during Be a Tourist in Your Home Town on July 14 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information and to purchase your passport, visit www.flintandgenesee.org/tourist.