Remember When …

An advertisement from General Motors featuring the Longway Planetarium in the background. Photo credit: Pintrest

An advertisement from General Motors featuring the Longway Planetarium in the background. Photo credit: Pintrest

The planets are lining up to make a Bethlehem star, so Dec. 16-25 watch the sky. On December 21 it should be the brighest, the last time it was seen was 1226 the two largest planets Jupiter and Saturn.

Did you see the Northern lights in the sky last week? I heard you may be able to see them this week too! Have you ever been to the Flint Cultural Center in Flint on Robert T. Longway?

The Genesee County Historical Society started in 1860 and worked with Flint board of Education off and on. Thanks to a group of people wanted to make sure that the people of the Flint area had full access of educational activities and wonderful cultural, history, science and the arts opportunities for all ages and backgrounds.

Robert T. Longway moved to Michigan and met and married his wife in 1912. He started working for the Weston-Mott Company than went on to work for Buick until 1932, Longway was into banking and helped Kettering and other businesses so they named to road after him in his honor.



Longway was on the board of the Cultural Center and in 1958 opened the Longway Planetarium. The planetarium is the largest in Michigan with its wonderful projections systems, solar systems that can go back 85 billion years and the new cove lights and surround sound. In 1952 the Flint community got together and planned to make two museums in the Flint College and Cultural Center, one for transportation and one for the history of Genesee County, according to

We’re very blessed to have the wonderful assets of Arts and education in Genesee County all eight different nonprofits, started because of the wonderful people that came to work for General Motors and Flint Board of Education. Applewood farm was started by Charles. S. Mott, his family history was from his grandfather, father and uncle that lived in New York and New Jersey, that made Mott’s apple cider and vinegar from 1865-1900.

Applewood was named because of the apple orchard on his property. Mott Foundation has donated to lots of nonprofits, also helped Mott College, get started and donated millions to Flint. Mott moved his axel company, Weston-Mott business in 1906 to build axels for General Motors he came because of Billy Durant and ended up being the best thing that happened to all of us. During your Christmas holiday go check out the FFC or visit their website at

The Courtland Center Mall in Burton is now the home to some of the Culture Center since they are remodeling the Flint Public Library and the Sloan Museum and as residents of Genesee County you get a discount for admission. The Flint Repertory Theatre, Flint Institute of Arts (free on Saturday) and the Flint Institute of Music are still there with the Longway Planetarium on Kearsley Street both have wonderful classes for all ages. As you drive the roads of Genesee County, look at the names of our streets and the buildings in your area and the history will begin to unfold.

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