buickman2https://buickman2.wordpress.comThe original purpose of this Blog was as a quick retrieval point for my research data. "It grew out of control rather quickly". I do not hold claim to everything here. As with all history I build and hopefully expand on other peoples efforts. I spend many hours trying to ensure the accuracy of this history which is always evolving. I have worked at many different G.M. plants in my 30 years with the company. I've spent time at the old Chevy V8 plant in Flint, Michigan in 1970 going to night school in the dynamometer room, then onto Buick in 1972, followed by 9 months at the Chevrolet plant in Flint, Michigan, known as Chevy In The Hole. I was called back to Buick after the economy picked up in 1974. In 1997 I went north 50 miles to Bay City Powertrain, which was another old Chevrolet plant. Like most GM. employees I worked some special assignments at other plants in north America. I welcome feedback on anything I post, pertaining to the General Motors Factories. I especially like corrections or new information.
We are facing east looking at one of the many Weston-Mott factories that rose up alongside the Buick factories. This particular one would go on to become Buick #34. The photo below is after it became #34 and the description at that time follows. Link: The Weston-Mott factories at Buick.This factory was built in 1909 and ( partially) demolished in 1939. “First steam” in this plant was December 16, 1909. This plant made hubs and rims. The original cost of this factory was $20,000.
In 1939, the south half of this building was demolished, making room for the new“Buick Service and Parts”. This view of Weston-Mott #04 was taken from the access road that ran north along the “Pere Marquette” rail line. This would be the future site of Buick #84. The story of this factory can be seen below.
We are facing east looking at one of the many Weston-Mott factories that rose up alongside the Buick factories. This particular one would go on to become Buick #35. The photo below is after it became #35 and the description at that time follows. Link:The Weston-Mott factories at Buick.A north facing view of Weston-Mott #5 (Buick #35). This is the axle plant thatHarry Bassett , Weston-Mott General Manager,requested to be built next to factory #4 in his letter dated July 31, 1909 to William “Bill” Little (Buick Manager). It just ended up a bit farther north. These factories back then could be up and running in as little as 3 months from the time you contacted the builder. “Not as much red tape as today”. At the time of this photo I believe it was still an axle plant but when this was published in “The Factory Behind The Car” Buick labeled it as to it’s then current use.
This view of Weston-Mott #05 was taken from St. John Street. This would be the future site of Buick #94. The story of this factory can be seen below. Link:Factory #35 and #94.
On the left isWeston-Mott #6which would become Buick #36. In the distance, beyond the courtyard, can be seen the “Imperial Wheel Co.” which would become a Chevrolet plant in 1913. It Then was purchased for the Monroe Motor Co. in 1914. About 1915 it was taken over by Buick and was #18.designated building It would eventually become the site of the Buick Parts and Service in 1939. Now, on the right you can see the east wall of Weston-Mott #4, whose story has been given at the start of this post.
Weston-Mott office at left. Judging from the size of the bushes, compared to a dated photo, I would put the date at about 1911. Buick factory #01 and office beyond. The man leaning on the rail, would be looking at the Bank, in the photo below. Links:
The north end of factory #12. This is the intersection of Industrial Ave. and Leith St. This is the winter of 1910-1911. I spent many hours in this factory after the creation of Buick City in 1985. Link:
Buick #04 looking south-east across Hamilton Ave. and Industrial Ave., in 1911, at the body plant. This was the original W.F. Stewart plant #4 until it was absorbed by Buick in July 1908. Don’t confuse this with the 1947 Buick factory #04.
Factory #06 about 1911. We are facing north with Division St. off to the right. The #03 foundry is visible in the distance. Link: Factory #06 Assembly.
This is the “Oak Park Power Company” and I think this is late 1909. We are facing west in the courtyard between Buick factory #01 & Buick #06 and #07. That is Weston-Mott #1 in the background. Link:
This is the “Oak Park Power Company” and I think this is late 1909. We are facing south-west. in the courtyard between Buick factory #01 and Buick #06 and #07. That is Weston-Mott #2 with the sawtooth roof. Link:
This is a view of the new “Michigan Motor Casting”factory from the south-west in 1911. This factory would become Buick #38 in 1916.That is Industrial Avenue with the trolley tracks in place. This is where Buick factory #04 would be built in 1947. Link:
This photo inside the Kearsley St. plant shows William Beacraftat the right, next to the improved engine (pushrods on top). This was 1904. The worker behind him with the old style engine is known only as Randall. The first man at the left is only known as Morse. The worker behind him is known only as Hiles. The next in line is W.H. Wascher. Beyond him is a worker known only as Daikin. The man at the center (3rd from right) was known as Mr. Green. Written on back:View of workers posing with machinery at the Buick Motor Company factory. Handwritten on back: “Left to R. 1. Mr. Morres; 2. Mr. Hill; 3. Wm. Washer; 4. Wesley Daken; 5. [blank]; 6. [blank]; 7. [blank]; 8. [blank]; 9. David Randell with Buick over 40 yr.; 10. Beacraft, Wm. Factories–Buick.” Link: Original Sorry but this is the best information I have, from two sources.
The old “Flint Varnish Works” has now become “The Flint Varnish and Color Works” in 1911. Link:
This is the first floor of factory #08 after the cement work that is seen being performed below.
“The Buick Garage” getting ready for cement. In this east facing view we can see the “Flint Axle” factory. The unique smoke stacks of the “Flint Varnish Works” are off to the right. At the far left, across Hamilton Ave., can be seen the “Imperial Wheel Works”. Links: Oak Park IndustriesImperial Wheel Company Had Many Faces
The judge built three horseless carriages. You can find their photos in Lawrence Gustin’s book “The Flint Journal Centennial Picture History of Flint. These and the photos below are from that book. The story about them can be found in the book.
The very first automobile built in Flint was built by Judge Charles H. Wisner, possibly as early as 1898. The carriage house which was his workshop was written about in The Detroit Journal of October 10, 1901 as being one of the best appointed machine shops in the state. I just so happened to be there the day they were moving it to it’s new home in Crossroads village near Flint, where it can still be seen today. I was skipping school that day. It was located at the southwest corner of east Court and Lapeer Street. I looked in the windows with the glass now removed and it was already elevated for moving. It was bright red with white trim as I recall. It was being moved to make way for the new business loop through Flint called the Buick & U.A.W. expressway or I-475 as we know it today. Wisner’s first car was known as Wisner’s “Buzz Wagon”. Wisner built a total of three cars and two of them are said to have had their final assembly done at the Armstrong plant on St. John Street. Robert (Bert) Armstrong supposedly helped Wisner with those two. One side note is that James Parkhill erected the first gasoline station in Flint during 1905. A recreation of this station was for a time set up at the Sloan museum in Flint. James Parkhill Flint Garage 1906. James Parkhill’s book: To My Friends: by James Parkhill
As best I recall this is where the Wisner home and carriage house were located.