Concerning Flat Rock
Excerpts from an article in the newspaper on Nov. 29, 1866.
It was written by G.P.G., Special Correspondent of the Detroit Free Press.
“This is a thriving little town of 500 inhabitants, situated in the southwest part of Wayne County, on the north bank of the Huron River, five miles from it’s mouth, in the township of Brownstown.This village is known on the United States mail books as Brownstown, but it is more familiarly known as Flat Rock, which nomenclature was given it on account of the Huron River, at this point having a solid bottom of one huge flat slate, without a seam for many rods. This place has a history second in interest and importance only to Detroit and Monroe. Near by here was the scene of the battle of Brownstown, fought between the Kentucky riflemen and the British and Indians many years ago.
There is here.a large steam sawmill. J. B. Walvin, proprietor, is turning out immense quantities of ship and; other lumber, besides many thousand axe handles annually. Two flouring mills, run by water power, add their share to the general activity of the town. There is a water power here unsurpassed by any that I know of which affords a splendid opening for the erection of woolen and other manufactures. It may not be generally known, but if capitalists in search of a location for mills of any description, could be full of advantages, gained here, this village would be flooded with speculators within sixty days. There are seven stores, two churches, a fine school building in process of erection, three blacksmith shops, three wagon shops, one harness shop, two···· boot and shoe shops, a truss hoop manufacturer, employing thirteen men, two bending shops, a drug store and two doctors dispense life and health to the community.
One of the most important features of Flat Rock is it’s peculiarly favorable location for eventual growth. First, there are no less than nine different well-traveled roads centering here, with a tract of splendid farming country, extending fourteen miles in three directions, which must find a market here. The soil is sandy loam mixed with clay, which is said to be immensely productive. Second, it is only five miles from Lake Erie, on a river that, with a comparatively trifling outlay of money, can be made navigable as far up as this point. You will thus at once see the unusual advantages of location that Flat Rock possesses, which are, I believe, the most essential elements of a successful future.
Flat Rock has one hotel doing a good business, under the proprietorship of Mr. William Hooper, a sound Democrat, a genial host, and jolly good fellow. His ham and eggs shall be to me a perpetual fount of joy, a well spring of gladness. The village proper has also a Masonic lodge (Hiriam, No. 110), with something over 80 working members, and their lodge-room is one of the finest I have ever visited in the State. It is an honor to the town and the craft. A good Templar’s’ Lodge was organized here last week, and nineteen members at once initiated, and as many more are clamorous for admission.
Here’s to the health, long life and prosperity of Flat Rock.” G.P.G.