The original grist mill on this site was constructed in 1845 and was operational until a flood destroyed the original dam in the spring of 1920.
Henry Ford bought the mill and razed it in order to build a new mill and dam.
After construction of a new dam, which created Wilcox Lake, and the mill structure that still stands today, Ford Motor Company opened the Plymouth Plant in the first quarter of 1923. The factory was powered by a hydroelectric generator with a peak output of nearly 30 horsepower. The plant was operational for nearly 25 years, employing approximately 30 employees who made 850 engine taps each 8-hour shift.
After Ford Motor Company moved engine tap production to their Highland Park plant, the Plymouth site was decommissioned.
The land changed hands to the Wayne County Road Commission in 1948. Since then, the mill structure has been used as a garage and storage facility and the surrounding grounds have been used as a road yard.
The original grist mill, named Plymouth Mills, was constructed in 1845 and was operational until a flood destroyed the original dam in spring of 1920
Article from the Plymouth Pilgrim 10-28-1926 describes the history of the Mill and grounds, written while it was operational as a Ford Factory.
Making engine taps in 1947, shortly before the mill was closed (Photo Courtesy of the Plymouth Historical Museum Collection)
1949 Aerial Overview - 1 year after the building and land became Wayne County Property (photo courtesy of Wayne State Digital Library online)