Remember When …

An early photo of the Flint Institute of Music. Photo provided

An early photo of the Flint Institute of Music. Photo provided

What is your favorite springtime song? I love this warmer weather, so I have been getting outside and walking listening to the birds sing different songs.

When the Michigan Robin comes out it is to show us the first sign of spring. The American Robin is from the thrush family of birds and the history of the songbird, was named after the Robin red-breast in Europe (even though the birds are not related) and was named by the American Colonist.

There are 370,000,000 robins in North America making them number one and the cardinal second in all of North America. Since 1927, the United States have been choosing state birds for each state and Michigan, Connecticut and Wisconsin have all chosen, the quintessential American Robin.

Get your camera out and go find your favorite bird? Don’t forget to listen to their songs, they all have their own songs, a mockingbird has 200 songs. I love singing and sharing the music inside me.

I am so glad we have a diamond in the rough, the Flint Institute of Music, located on Kearsley Street, was originally located in Burton Township until 1920 when they asked the City of Flint to annex so Flint would be able to get more money when a group of investors wanted to help C.S. Mott make something special there.



We are the most blessed county in our state because of our General Motors founder. They were philanthropists and wanted to bring the best culture to their families that worked for them.

The Flint Institute Music is known for bringing out the best music, in all of us, with great teachers. I hope everyone living in Genesee County would know the history of the Flint’s own Cultural Center there is some free or discounted tickets for Genesee County residents.

It all started with the music of the Choral Union, back in 1913 started by J. Dallas Dort. He was a community man, people loved him, and he loved music, by 1917 the beginning of the FIM was born with a Christmas concert.

The Flint Symphony Orchestra is the oldest member of the FCC to start in 1918 with a group of dedicated musicians that volunteered. The Whiting Auditorium is a wonderful place to watch talented shows from all over the world.

Our planetarium is of state of the Art, Bowers Theater, along with Flint Institute of Arts with exhibits of Famous Artists and classes too. A lot of the classes are online for FCC now because of the restrictions and I am not sure if Music in the Parks will be on this year. They are all on Facebook too.

The Sloan Museum is at the Courtland Center Mall in Burton, along with part of the Flint Public Library, which has wonderful history and online services you can sign up for, while they are being updated. They should be open by on Kearsley Street 2022. Have a wonderful time singing with the birds as you take a walk.

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