Remember When …



I hope you have enjoyed the summer weather and beautiful sunsets, I have. Genesee County has been blessed with lots of natural beauty and wonderful natural resources to help families grow and learn together.

The “Vehicle City” is the nickname for Flint, but it was first founded as a village in 1819 by a fur trader, Jacob Smith, then to be a lumbering town. As time went by Billy Durant entered into the area through his family and started making the best carriages with Dallas Dort. They later founded GM and built automobiles to be the best in the world.

In the 1920’s Dallas Dort, of the Flint carriage company hired an architect, John Nolen, from New York City, who designed Central Park. This group started the City of Flint Parks systems, so people could walk from their homes to the parks. Now Flint has 22 parks and 11,000 acres of woods and trails.

President Ulysses S. Grant signed a Yellowstone National Park Protection act into law in 1872, the Yellowstone National park was the world’s first national park. The second National Park in the U.S. was Michigan’s Mackinac Island State Park in 1895, making it our first state park.



The second state park was Interlochen in 1919. National Parks were made to preserve the beauty all over in America. One of the fun things about a National Parks is that the Park rangers are very informative. My grandson, Nathanael has traveled to many and likes to go, because they teach children to be a junior ranger and get a patch from each park. Currently the U.S. has 61 national parks in 29 states, our veterans even get discounts.

Did you know according to Michigan State University Michigan has 11,037 inland lakes; that means you are never more than six miles away from a water of some kind and 85 miles from one of our Great Lakes. “Pure Michigan” or Travel Michigan began in 2008 as a way to promote tourism in our state.

We even have 77 rest stops serviced by the Michigan Department of Transportation, with trails, parks and picnic areas, where you can rest along your road trip.

Photos courtesy of the Burton Area Historical Society

Photos courtesy of the Burton Area Historical Society

Do you like to travel, being in the water, hiking, cycling, camping or just go to parks? Checkout the local lineup of events by going to #FlintandGenesee on Facebook, each town in our county has small parks for its residents. Michigan has more than 100 state parks, as of 2020 with 306,000 acres that have 14,100 campsites and more than 900 miles, all maintained land by our Department of National Resources.

As you drive around this summer with your family, outside is the best place to be, in the fresh air. Now that places are opening up in Michigan; always be safe, with social distancing outside and inside, wear masks as needed inside buildings and in groups over 10. Have a great summer!

Remember When is a weekly column in the Burton View featuring historical stories about the community from the Burton Area Historical Society. If you have some Burton history to share, email History.