Flat Rock is a city in Wayne County of the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 8,488. Flat Rock is home to the AutoAlliance International manufacturing plant, co-owned by Ford Motor Company and Mazda Motor Corporation. As of 2005 it produces the Mazda 6 and the 2007 Ford Mustang. Also, Flat Rock is home to the famous Flat Rock Speedway, though the track is technically located in Ash Township in neighboring Monroe County.
Flat Rock was founded by Michael Vreeland, and his five grown sons, between 1811 and 1820. Michael had been captured by British Rangers during the Revolutionary War..and released after American Independence.. The family purchased ..The town was called the Village of Vreeland until 1838 when the Vreeland family sold off the majority of the land, and relinquished control of the area. the Vreeland families built the first grain and lumber mill, having brought the grinding stones from New York. descendents of Michael Vreeland still live in the town, and attend Flat Rock public schools, they are the seventh generation to reside in the town their family founded.
Flat Rock is the birthplace of actor Dann Florek, best known for his roles in the TV series L.A. Law, and Law & Order
According to the United States Census Bureau
, the city has a total area of 6.8 square miles
), of which, 6.7 square miles (17.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (1.47%) is water.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 8,488 people, 3,181 households, and 2,306 families residing in the city. The population density
was 1,266.9 per square mile (489.1/km²). There were 3,291 housing units at an average density of 491.2/sq mi (189.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.32% White
, 1.43% African American
, 0.49% Native American
, 0.47% Asian
, 0.64% from other races
, and 1.65% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 2.70% of the population.
There were 3,181 households out of which 39.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.7% were married couples
living together, 16.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.5% were non-families. 22.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.12.
In the city the population was spread out with 29.3% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 93.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.7 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $44,084, and the median income for a family was $54,186. Males had a median income of $43,967 versus $27,348 for females. The per capita income
for the city was $21,256. About 8.5% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line
, including 11.3% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.
In the last 10 years Flat Rock has grown from a sleepy suburb on the fringes of Wayne County to a booming development area. Property values have substantially increased and population in the next census is also expected to increase. New construction projects begun or completed since 2000 include:
- Flat Rock Playscape
- Flat Rock High School
- Flat Rock Community Baseball Complex
- Flat Rock Library
- Downriver Linked Greenways
- Flat Rock Historical Park
- Flat Rock Fountain/Ice Skating Rink
- Flat Rock Community Recreation Center
- High School Track and football field bathrooms
For fiscal year 2006, Flat Rock Community Schools received $7,619USD
from the State of Michigan
- Bobcean Elementary School
- Students: 597
- Location: 28300 EVERGREEN AVENUE
- Grades: K-2
- Mascot: Bears
- Barnes Elementary School
- Students: 407
- Location: 24925 MEADOWS AVENUE
- Grades: 3-5
- Mascot: Bobcats
- Simpson Junior High School
- Students: 407
- Location: 24900 MEADOWS AVENUE
- Grades: 6-8
- Mascot: Rams
- Flat Rock Community High School
- Students: 496
- Location: Location: 28100 ASPEN DRIVE
- Grades: 9-12
- Mascot: Rams
- Colors: Green and Gold
The first mention of any settlers in the area later to become Flat Rock was made by a French Priest named Father Jean Dilhet. In describing his parish in 1798 he included "Grosse Roche", referring to a settlement named after the outcropping of limestone rock on the south side of the Huron River.
In 1818, a land office opened in Detroit and Soloman Sibley purchased of land. In 1824 it was sold to Michael and Jaob Vreeland. The Villages of Vreelandt and Smooth Rock were platted on part of this acerage. At this time there were Huron, Seneca, and Wyandot Indian villages in the area.
With the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, large numbers of people, especially from New York, came to Michigan to settle. By 1828 the village had four stores, two saw mills, a wood carding mill, a flour mill, and 250 inhabitants - serving as a center mainly for farmers who lived in the area immediately surrounding the settlement.
The Village of Flat Rock was platted and recorded in 1838 by the Gibraltar and Flat Rock Land Co. They were attempting to build a canal to connect Lake Erie with Lake Michigan. This effort ultimately failed.
Henry Ford was attracted to the water power of the Huron River and in 1925 he established the Ford Motor Company Lamp Factory along its banks.
The area was incorporated as a village in 1923 and as a city in 1965. The City of Flat Rock today contains 6.68 square miles and the population in 2006 is approximately 10,000. While Flat Rock is a rapidly growing community today, even with its growth, it remains a unique "small town" with many of its residents having roots reaching back to the 1800s.
Flat Rock has a higher overall tornado
average than the State of Michigan as a whole, and a 66% greater average than the United States as a whole. Two F4
tornadoes have hit Flat Rock - one in 1956, another in 1965 resulting in 23 deaths and over 300 injuries.