The Carriage Town Historic District’s boundaries are the Flint River on the south, Fifth Avenue on the north, Begole Street and Atwood Stadium on the west, and North Saginaw Street on the east. This area is rich in Flint history. It is here that early Native Americans camped and Flint’s first settler, Jacob Smith made his home in 1819. Carrage Town has been part of the MotorCities-Automobile National Heritage Area under the National Park Service since 1998.
The name “Carriage Town” was inspired and derived from area’s rich history. The Durant-Dort Carriage Company, founded by Josiah Dallas Dort and William Crapo Durant, became the world’s largest volume producers of horse drawn carriages. Many of its workers and management lived in the neighborhood between 1885 and 1917. The success of the carriage manufacturers in Flint lead to Flint being named the “Vehicle City” in 1905.
Later in 1908, using his knowledge gained from creating the carriage company, Billy Durant formed the General Motors Corporation in the Durant-Dort Office Building on Water Street. Thanks to Durant’s respect for Flint, the City became one of the largest automobile manufacturing cities in the world during the 20th century.