Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Bygone Days At The Buick.

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 that Harry 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 is Weston-Mott #6  which 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 Weston-Mott Factories At Buick

The Industrial Savings Bank  was built in 1909. Notice the "W.E. WOOD Building Constructor" stenciled on the upper window W. E. Wood death notice. The same firm built the Buick office and many other factories for Buick and Chevrolet.  Link: Weston-Mott and Industrial Bank.


Industrial and Hamilton Avenue 1915.

This is the south end of factory #11. The portions with the boards are where the lunch tables will be. The area off to the left with the pipes is where the wash basins will be placed. Link: 

Factory #11 1909

This view of the #11 engine plant would have been taken not too long before the one show below. Link: 

Factory #11 1909

This is the large new Buick engine plant built between 1909 & 1911. This view is facing north. Leith St. is in front with Division St. heading off to the north at right. Link: Factory #11 1924.
This is a great view looking north inside factory #11 when they were just getting ready to start up in 1909.  Link: The last part made here in  the distant future.    
Facing south and factory #11 is just rising.
The sequence of erection is very interesting factory #11.
Notice all the trees still standing behind these wall.
In this east facing view from factory #16 you can see the new St. John neighborhood going up as fast as Buick buildings were rising.  Link: 

St. Johns Industrial Park Urban Renewal near Buick

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: 

Factory #12 Sheet Metal Plant

Factory #12 running north along Industrial Avenue. Links: The Factory Behind The Car.


The corner of Leith Street and Industrial Avenue in 1911. Your looking north up Industrial with Leith Street off to the right. Link: 

Factory #16 During Construction

The corner of Leith Street and Industrial Avenue in 1911. Your looking north up Industrial with Leith Street off to the right. Links: 

Factory #16 Southeast Corner 

Buick #04 looking south-east across Hamilton Ave. & 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.
Factory #07 about 1911. This view is facing north up the courtyard between #07 & #06. This empty space will be filled with buildings over the years.  Links: The Courtyard Between Factory #07 and #06.  Factory #07 Seat Stuffing.


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: 

Oak Park Power Company  Buick Assembly Court Yard.

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: 

Oak Park Power Company

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: 

Michigan Motor Castings Company   Industrial Avenue Paving.   Mystery Speedster.

This photo inside the Kearsley St. plant shows William Beacraft at 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: 

Hamilton Avenue and the Dupont plant.

Building #03-D being built in 1910. This view is facing north-east. Link: 

Factory #03 Buildings

This is the D.U.R. (Detroit United Railway) terminal for the Inter Urban cars of that period. This is on Hamilton Avenue across from the Buick factory. You can see the "Flint Varnish Works" in the background at left.  Links: Factory #08 Garage. Main Office Building First and Second Oak Park Industries

Commonwealth Power Company built in 1909 right next to the Flint river. This view and the one below are facing north,just north of Hamilton Avenue.  Link: Go here for full story.

Champion Ignition plant on Industrial Avenue.  Link: 

Champion Ignition Company 1908 - 1911.


Loading 1937 Buick's at the old "Train Shed" which saw many uses over it's life span. This view is facing south. Links: 

Factory #02 train shed 1923 Inside train shed 1942 + early '20s 

This is obviously 1928 judging by the license plate. The water towers place this next to factory #02 west annex where I spent some of my easy time in 1996.  Link: 


Factory #02 train shed 1923    

Factory #02 Train Shed Vehicle Entrance                               Train Shed At Buick Rail Entrance         

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 Industries Imperial Wheel Company Had Many Faces 
Here we are in 1911 standing on Hamilton Ave. If we turn our head to the right, we will see the Buick main office and factory #01. Links: After the garage became a body plant.

Factory #08 Garage.         

A beautiful, well detailed closeup of the Buick main office around 1911. We are facing north, standing on Hamilton Avenue. Links: 

Main Office Building First & Second

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