Schuyler Mill – Ford Soybean Plant Complex

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Schuyler Mill – Ford Soybean Plant Complex
Schuyler Mill Saline MI.JPG
Schuyler Mill – Ford Soybean Plant Complex is located in Michigan
Schuyler Mill – Ford Soybean Plant Complex
Schuyler Mill – Ford Soybean Plant Complex is located in the US
Schuyler Mill – Ford Soybean Plant Complex
Location 555--600 Michigan Ave., Saline, Michigan
Coordinates 42°9′46″N 83°47′23″W / 42.16278°N 83.78972°W / 42.16278; -83.78972Coordinates: 42°9′46″N 83°47′23″W / 42.16278°N 83.78972°W / 42.16278; -83.78972
Area 11.5 acres (4.7 ha)
Built 1845
Architectural style Greek Revival, Classical Revival
NRHP Reference # 96000477[1]
Added to NRHP May 08, 1996

The Schuyler Mill, also known as the Ford Soybean Plant Complex, is an old mill site that Henry Ford turned into one of his small village industry factories. It is located at 555-600 Michigan Avenue in Saline, Michigan, and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.[1]


In 1845, David Schuyler Haywood constructed a gristmill at this site[2] on the western edge of Saline, Michigan.[3] A small settlement, Barnegat, soon coalesced around the mill site; Barnegat was annexed by the village of Saline in 1848.[4] However, by 1865, business declined, and the mill was soon closed.[5]

Henry Ford purchased the site in 1936,[6] refurbished it, and opened it as a soybean processing plant in 1938.[2] The site employed up to 19 people,[2] who removed the soybean oil from the beans, which was processed into plastics and paint.[3] The residuals were used to make casting cores or for cattle feed.[3] In 1943, Ford moved a one-room Greek Revival schoolhouse to the site and refurbished it as a residence.[5] However, the plant was closed in 1947, not long after Henry Ford's death.[2]

After its closure, the building was used by a private soybean processing firm.[2] However, the processing equipment was soon obsolete,[5] and in 1962, the property was turned into an antique shop and general store, know first as the "Sauk Trail Inn".[7] and later as "Weller's Country Store."[6] More recently, part of the structure has been used as a cafe[2] and a banquet facility.[5]


The Schuyler Mill/Ford Soybean Plant Complex sits on 11-1/2 acres in a park-like setting.[5] It consists primarily of the original 1845 mill and the ancillary fieldstone-lined millrace.[5] The mill is a three-story timber-framed gable-roofed Greek Revival building covered with clapboard. A smaller two-story wing sits to one side; it is flanked by two single-story wings.[5] Across the street sits a modern residence built around the old schoolhouse.[5]

In addition, Ford built four more structures: a Greek Revival-style extractor plant and a pump house near the mill, and two storage buildings near the mill. In addition, Ford constructed a dam and spillway at the mill pond.


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Howard P. Segal (2005), "Appendix: Basic Facts About and Present Status of the Nineteen Village Industries", Recasting the machine age: Henry Ford's village industries, Univ of Massachusetts Press, pp. 161–166, ISBN 1-55849-481-2 
  3. ^ a b c Ford Richardson Bryan (1997), Beyond the Model T: the other ventures of Henry Ford, Wayne State University Press, pp. 45–57, ISBN 0-8143-2682-X 
  4. ^ Grace Shackman. "Then & Now: Schuyler's Mill". Ann Arbor Observer. Retrieved July 29, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h "Schuyler Mill/Ford Soybean Plant Complex". Michigan State Housing Development Authority: Historic Sites Online. Retrieved July 29, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b David Lewis (November 1976), Down by the Old Mill Stream (PDF), Washtenaw County Historical Society 
  7. ^ Ren Farley (August 2010). "Henry Ford's Saline Mill/Schuyler Mill". Detroit1701. Retrieved July 29, 2011. 

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