Flat Rock, Michigan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Flat Rock, Michigan
City of Flat Rock
The Flat Rock Municipal Building at Gibraltar Road in December 2010
The Flat Rock Municipal Building at Gibraltar Road in December 2010
Location within Wayne County
Location within Wayne County
Flat Rock is located in Michigan
Flat Rock
Flat Rock
Location within the state of Michigan
Coordinates: 42°06′07″N 83°16′22″W / 42.10194°N 83.27278°W / 42.10194; -83.27278Coordinates: 42°06′07″N 83°16′22″W / 42.10194°N 83.27278°W / 42.10194; -83.27278
CountryUnited States
CountiesMonroe and Wayne
Incorporated1923 (village)
1965 (city)
 • MayorMark Hammond
 • City6.71 sq mi (17.37 km2)
 • Land6.55 sq mi (16.95 km2)
 • Water0.16 sq mi (0.42 km2)
597 ft (182 m)
 • City9,878
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,520.78/sq mi (587.19/km2)
 • Metro
4,285,832 (Metro Detroit)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code(s)
48183 (Trenton)
Area code(s)734
FIPS code26-28360[4]
GNIS feature ID0626146[5]
WebsiteOfficial website

Flat Rock is a city in Wayne County of the U.S. state of Michigan. A very small portion of the city extends into Monroe County. At the 2010 census, the city population was 9,878.[6] Flat Rock is home to the Flat Rock Assembly Plant, owned by Ford Motor Company. As of 2018 it produces the 6th generation Ford Mustang and the Lincoln Continental.


Flat Rock began as a Wyandot settlement. It was later designated as a reservation for the Wyandot, and still functioned as such in 1830.[7]

The first European-American settlers in Flat Rock were Michael Vreeland and his five grown sons between 1811 and 1820. Michael had been captured by British Rangers during the Revolutionary War and released after American independence. The family purchased 800 acres (3.2 km2). The town was called the Village of Vreeland until 1838 when the Vreeland family sold off the majority of the land and relinquished control of the area. The Vreeland families built the first grain and lumber mill, having brought the grinding stones from New York. Descendants of Michael Vreeland still live in the town and attend Flat Rock public schools, being the seventh generation to reside in the town their family founded.

The first mention of any settlers in the area later to become Flat Rock was made by a French priest, Father Jean Dilhet. In describing his parish in 1798 he included "Grosse Roche", referring to a settlement named after the outcropping of limestone rock on the south side of the Huron River.

In 1818, a land office opened in Detroit, and Soloman Sibley purchased 330.93 acres (1.3392 km2) of land. In 1824 it was sold to Michael and Jacob Vreeland. The villages of Vreelandt and Smooth Rock were platted on part of this acreage. At this time there were Huron, Seneca, and Wyandot Indian villages in the area.

With the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, large numbers of people, especially from New York, came to Michigan to settle. By 1828 the village had four stores, two saw mills, a wool carding mill, a flour mill, and 250 inhabitants - serving as a center mainly for farmers who lived in the area immediately surrounding the settlement.

The village of Flat Rock was platted and recorded in 1838 by the Gibraltar and Flat Rock Land Co. They were attempting to build a canal to connect Lake Erie with Lake Michigan. This effort ultimately failed.

Henry Ford was attracted to the water power of the Huron River, and in 1925 he established the Ford Motor Company Lamp Factory along its banks.

The area was incorporated as a village in 1923 and as a city in 1965. While Flat Rock is a rapidly growing community today, even with its growth, it remains a unique "small town" with many of its residents having roots reaching back to the 1800s.

From the 1930s until the early 1960s an airport was located in Flat Rock. The grass airfield was known as Nan-Bar Airport, named for the owner's two daughters, Nancy and Barbara. During World War II Nan-Bar Airport served as an accessory airfield for Naval Air Station Grosse Ile. Navy pilots used the airfield for short field landing instruction, as well as for emergency landings.

Flat Rock's massive growth from a small village to a medium-sized began with the construction of Huron River Estates from 1953-1954.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.67 square miles (17.28 km2), of which 6.53 square miles (16.91 km2) is land and 0.14 square miles (0.36 km2) is water.[8] The city is primarily within Wayne County, but a portion of the city lies in Monroe County, because the border along the Huron River follows the course of the river in 1923, the year Flat Rock was incorporated as a village. At the time, the river had two meanders, but they have since been filled in.[citation needed]

Flat Rock has a higher overall tornado average than the state of Michigan as a whole, and a 66% greater average than the United States as a whole.[9] Two F4 tornadoes have hit Flat Rock—one in 1956 and another in 1965 resulting in 23 deaths and over 300 injuries.


Flat Rock Assembly Plant[edit]

Michigan Casting Center, 1973

The former Ford's Michigan Casting Center, otherwise known as MCC, opened in January 1972 at the now Flat Rock Assembly Plant site following three years of work and the largest single-investment by Ford, at the time was one of the most technologically advanced casting facilities in the world. Despite the sizable capital investment, labor problems and work injuries arose, and the demand for the V8 engine blocks produced at the site gradually declined. In 1979, Robert Williams, a facility worker, was killed by an industrial robot arm, becoming the first human to be killed by an industrial robot. The facility ended up closing in 1981.

Mazda Motor Corporation began construction in 1985 on the site of the former Michigan Casting Center plant, and in September 1987, Mazda Motor Manufacturing USA opened on the site and cars began production with the Mazda MX-6 and Ford Probe coupes. Mazda Motor Manufacturing USA became the first Japanese auto manufacturing in the U.S. industrial heartland. [10][11] From 1988 until 1997, the Mazda MX-6 was manufactured at Flat Rock, following the Ford Probe from 1989 until 1997. The plant began production of all models of the Mazda 626 sold in America beginning in 1990, eventually ending in 2002. By 1991, Mazda Motor Manufacturing USA had 3,600 employees, including 250 Japanese employees.

Ford repurchased a 50% share in the plant on April 15, 1992, and it officially became a joint-venture and was renamed AutoAlliance International on July 1, 1992. Deepak Ahuja, a financial executive, became Chief Financial Officer of AutoAlliance International in 1993, and later served as CFO for Ford of Southern Africa. Ford Probe V6 24V GT was built at Flat Rock in 1995, which later was customized in France in 2016. The Ford Contour-derived Mercury Cougar was produced at the plant from 1998 to 2002. Production of North American Mazda 6 began in the 2003 model year, followed by the Ford Mustang starting in 2005.

The last Mazda 6 rolled off the line on Friday, August 24, 2012, with Mazda discontinuing production on American soil, effectively ending the 20 year joint-venture between Mazda and Ford. Mazda moved production of the Mazda 6 back to the Hofu Plant in Japan and opened a new factory in Salamanca, Mexico to build the Mazda 2 and Mazda 3 subcompact and compact cars. Later, on September 10, 2012, Ford Motor Company gained back full management control of the plant, renaming it the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant, and confirming $555 million in investments designed to retool the plant for the production of the 2013 Ford Fusion midsize sedan. On July 15, 2015, Ford confirmed that the new 2017 Lincoln Continental sedan would be produced at the Flat Rock plant starting in 2016. On January 3, 2017, Ford announced that it will begin manufacturing an electric small SUV by 2020, including a high passenger volume autonomous vehicle designed for commercial ride hailing or ride sharing by 2021, both to be built at Flat Rock Assembly Plant. In March 2019, Ford announced a change of its plan; the production of battery-electric vehicles wouldn't start until 2023. Ford reduced production of the plant from two shifts to one due to lower demand for the Ford Mustang and the Lincoln Continental, causing over 1,000 workers getting laid off in April 2019, including nearly 500 temporary workers.

As of now, Flat Rock Assembly Plant employs 3,510 hourly workers and 140 salaried workers.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201810,007[3]1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 9,878 people, 3,754 households, and 2,684 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,512.7 inhabitants per square mile (584.1/km2). There were 3,995 housing units at an average density of 611.8 per square mile (236.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.1% White, 4.1% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.4% of the population.

There were 3,754 households of which 38.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 16.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 28.5% were non-families. 23.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.10.

The median age in the city was 36.9 years. 27.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.6% were from 25 to 44; 27.1% were from 45 to 64; and 10.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.1% male and 51.9% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 8,488 people, 3,181 households, and 2,306 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,266.9 per square mile (489.1/km²). There were 3,291 housing units at an average density of 491.2 per square mile (189.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.32% White, 1.43% African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.64% from other races, and 1.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.70% of the population.

There were 3,181 households out of which 39.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.7% were married couples living together, 16.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 22.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the city, the population was spread out with 29.3% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $44,084, and the median income for a family was $54,186. Males had a median income of $43,967 versus $27,348 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,256. About 8.5% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.3% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.


For fiscal year 2006, Flat Rock Community Schools received $7,619USD from the State of Michigan per student.[13]

  • Bobcean Elementary School
    • Students: 597
    • Grades: K–2
    • Mascot: Rams
  • Barnes Elementary School
    • Students: 407
    • Grades: 3–5
    • Mascot: Rams
  • Simpson Junior High School
    • Students: 407
    • Grades: 6–8
    • Mascot: Rams
  • Flat Rock Community High School
    • Students: 585
    • Grades: 9–12
    • Mascot: Rams
    • Colors: Green and Gold

A portion of the city is in the Gibraltar School District.[14][15]

In addition, Summit Academy Schools, which is a slowly growing and prominent charter school in the area, begun at the Flat Rock campus. The Flat Rock campus still continues to operate.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "2017 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jan 3, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Flat Rock, Michigan
  6. ^ "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Flat Rock city, Michigan". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
  7. ^ Helen Hornbeck Tanner. Atlas of Great Lakes Indian History. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987) p. 134
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  9. ^ "Flat Rock, Michigan (MI 48134, 48173) profile: population, maps, real estate, averages, homes, statistics, relocation, travel, jobs, hospitals, schools, crime, moving, houses, news, sex offenders". www.city-data.com. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  10. ^ Fucini, p. 98.
  11. ^ Fucini, p. 101.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on 2009-07-09. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ Financial report for all Wayne County Schools[dead link] p.45, accessed 7.13.2006
  14. ^ "Gibraltar District Map" (Archived 2014-07-14 at the Wayback Machine). Gibraltar School District. Retrieved on June 15, 2014.
  15. ^ "SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP (2010 CENSUS): Wayne County, MI" (DC10SD_C26163_001.pdf) (Archived 2015-07-08 at the Wayback Machine). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on June 15, 2014.
  16. ^ Rose, Judy (1 December 1988). "ROXANNE`S BEAU IS A LEADING MAN IN REAL LIFE". chicagotribune.com. Knight-Ridder. Retrieved 17 September 2018.


External links[edit]