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Old Mill Museum and Park (Wolverine Building, Alfred Wilkerson Grist Mill)

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Wolverine Building, Alfred Wilkerson Grist Mill
1866 (1849?); 1935 restoration and additions; 1990s landscape, Beckett and Raeder. 242 Toledo St. on the River Raisin
  • (Photograph by Roger Funk)

Dundee was one of some twenty “village industry” plants that Henry Ford developed in southeastern Michigan with encouragement from Thomas Edison. Already on the site was this clapboarded, wood-frame, Greek Revival gristmill, erected at the dam on the River Raisin by Alfred Wilkerson in 1866 and run by him until 1880. Operated by R. B. Davis until 1910, it was acquired and converted into a hydroelectric generating plant by the Dundee Hydraulic Power Company. In 1931–1935 Ford bought, restored, and added to the mill for the purpose of housing one of his village industries. It was one of many small, water-powered factories along the nation's rivers acquired by Ford and intended to decentralize industry and offer employment to farmers during the winter. In 1938 the Dundee Mill employed eighty workers making copper welding tips, electric welding electrodes, and foundry castings. The addition of the limestone wing and stack enabled Ford to produce the copper tips at this location. The mill was acquired by the Wolverine Manufacturing Company in 1954 and by the village of Dundee in 1970. In 1981–1986 the Old Mill Restoration Committee converted the mill to a museum with exhibits on Dundee history. Today the Historical Preservation Society of Dundee operates the museum.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert



Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Old Mill Museum and Park (Wolverine Building, Alfred Wilkerson Grist Mill)", [Dundee, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 138-138.

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