Pettibone Creek Hydroelectric Station Restoration Project

Milford’s Pettibone Creek Powerhouse photo c. 1939

Photo Gallery

Map to Powerhouse and other MHS locations

Water Source

Water Intake Structure

The Powerhouse state before the restoration project work began – 7-29-2004

State of the Powerhouse Restoration Project – 5-25-05

State of the Powerhouse on 12/22/2006

Project Overview

Project overview slide presentation

Project Proposal Document

Historic References

About Ford’s Village Industries

Village Industries Map

Oakland Press Article on Water Power

Project Funders

Project Updates

March 2005

February 2004

November 2002

Society for Industrial Archeology Article

Dec 2005 Press Release

Dec 2006 - Milford Times article - Powerhouse may produce power again

Support the Project – Buy A Brick

Virtual Tour of the Powerhouse

NOTE: a new window will open for the tour. Close the window when you are through with the tour

Link to the Powerhouse Web site

Building the Ford Carburetor Plant

The year was 1938 and Henry Ford’s program to support small-towns in Michigan by placing Ford manufacturing plants in them was in full swing. Ford decided to build a plant in Milford, Michigan to produce carburetors. In order to power the plant he also committed to building a low-head power plant on Pettibone Creek. The articles that are catalogued on the right were written during this project and appeared in the Milford Times. They chronicle the building of the plant and the Pettibone Creek Powerhouse, especially the building of the flume to supply water to the powerhouse. They have been scanned from copies produced off  the microfilm archive of the Milford Times. They appear in chronological order, from January 1938 until December, 1938 when the plant began producing carburetors.

Milford Times Articles

01-04-1938(1) - Progress Noted in Ford Projects at Moore's Lake(Part1)

01-04-1938(2) - Progress Noted in Ford Projects at Moore’s Lake (Part2)

01-28-1938 - Work to Resume in Construction of New Ford Factory

02-02-1938 - Pouring of Floor at Ford Factory

03-04-1938 - Ready for Concrete on Flume Head

03-18-1938 - First Steel Arrives

04-29-1938 - Moore's Lake Nearly up to New Level

05-06-1938 - Steel Frame up for Ford Plant

05-20-1938 - More Earth Work at Ford Factory

06-10-1938 - Brick Walls Partly up at Ford Plant

06-17-1938 - Lots of Activity Now at New Ford Plant

07-01-1938 - Henry Ford Pays Brief Visit to New Plant

07-22-1938 - Drilling for New 12-inch Well at Ford Site

07-29-1938 - Seek 500 Gallon Well to Service Plant

08-05-1938 - First Equipment for Ford Factory Arrives

08-19-1938(1) - Construction of 3400 ft Steel Tube to be Started at Once (Flume) - part 1

08-19-1938(2) - Construction of 3400 ft Steel Tube to be Started at Once (Flume) - part 2

08-26-1938 - Contractors Start Work on 3400 ft Waterpower Flume

09-02-1938(1) - Two Mill Ponds Drained

09-02-1938(2) - Well-Known Spot has Changed

09-09-1938 - Exterior Brick Work Finished at Ford Plant

09-23-1938 - First Sections of Steel Pipeline Arrives

10-07-1938 - Shipment of Pipe Unloaded

10-21-1938 - Ford Motor Co Takes Registrations

10-28-1938(1) - Mr Ford Provides Social Science Instructions for Milford School Children

10-28-1938(2) - New Ford Plant Nears Completion

11-04-1938 - Pipe Laying Begun at Upper Mill Pond

11-11-1938 - Indications Point to Early Start at Ford Factory

11-25-1938(1) - First Carburetors come off the Line

11-25-1938(2) - Plant Begins Production

12-02-1938 - Daily Increase of Activity Prevails at Ford Plant

For Further Research -

One can read an in-depth recounting of Henry Ford's decentralized, small-scale plants in Howard Segal's new book, "Recasting the Machine Age." Click on the book to go to to order the book.