Introduction to Flint, Michigan
The city of Flint is located along Michigan's Flint River, about 68 miles northwest of Detroit. It is one of Michigan's largest cities and the county seat of Genesee County. Flint was founded in 1819 by Jacob Smith, a prominent Detroit fur trader. Due largely to its ideal location as a stopover on the overland route between Saginaw and Detroit, Flint began to prosper as a small but significant village. In 1855 the settlement became incorporated as the city of Flint, deriving its name from the river running through it. During the latter half of the nineteenth century, Flint established itself as a lumber center, and by the end of the century was able to leverage its lumbering infrastructure into a burgeoning carriage-manufacturing industry. As the world's largest carriage-making center, Flint soon became known as "Vehicle City." When horse-drawn carriages gave way to the advent of automobiles, Flint was in the forefront of the newly-formed auto industry. In 1908, William C. Durant founded the General Motors Corporation in the city and motor-vehicle manufacturing and assembly quickly prospered into a huge industry. Throughout the 20th century and beyond, Flint has continued to be closely tied to the auto industry, experiencing both the prosperity and hardships visited on the industry at various times in the nation's history.
Arts and Culture in Flint
Flint is noted for the Flint Cultural Center, home of the Flint Symphony Orchestra. Established in 1958, the Cultural Center includes an art center, planetarium, auditorium, music center, and the Alfred P. Sloan Museum, home to hundreds of artifacts, photographs, and exhibits chronicling the automobile history of Flint. The Flint Children's Museum is another city landmark, offering over 40 hands-on exhibits which are both fun and educational. The Whaley Historical House Museum, former home of the prominent Whaley family from 1885 to 1925, showcases Flint as it was during the late-19th/early-20th century. Another venue where Flint's history comes to life is the restored working community of Crossroads Village. Visitors here will find dozens of historic buildings and shops including Michigan’s oldest operating gristmill, an old-time Barber Shop, a general store, and an authentic blacksmith shop. Across from Crossroads Village is one of Genesee County's most picturesque spots: Stepping Stone Falls, which features a man-made cascade of water flowing over an intricate patchwork of levels and steps.
Flint is home to a number of semi-pro and minor league professional sports teams. The Flint Generals are a professional ice hockey team playing in the International Hockey League (IHL). The Flint Fury and Genesee County Patriots are both semi-pro football teams residing in Flint. The Fury currently plays in the Mid Continental Football League, while the Patriots are members of the North American Football League. Major league sports can be found in the city of Detroit, only about an hour away. Some of Detroit's premiere teams include Major League Baseball's Tigers, NBA basketball's Pistons, the Red Wings of the National Hockey League, the Lions of the National Football League and a WNBA women's basketball team, the Shock.