Lloyd Pryor still lives in the same house he grew up in when his father worked at the Ford plant in the Kingsford-Iron Mountain area. ??Basically, this is the only place I??ve lived; I was born in this house in 1928,?? said Pryor.
His house is one of 160 built in what was called the "Ford Addition,?? in order to house the plethora of employees swarming to work at the plant.
"My dad, he worked in the number two body plant,?? Pryor explained. ??He took care of the tools and then handed them out to employees that needed a tool.??
And even though Ford created a booming industry, times were still tough. "During the depression, nobody knew that they were poor, because everyone was poor,?? Pryor said.
But Lloyd also remembers the few times he got to see and meet Henry Ford when he would stay at the Ford Clubhouse on visits.
??He always had a straw hat, a gray suit, and a watch chain from pocket to pocket,?? Pryor said. ??He'd be out there in the yard, and we'd stop to talk to him.??
When World War II hit and all manufacturing of vehicles ceased, Ford thought of a brilliant way to add to the war effort. He received a contract to start the construction of Waco gliders. The Ford plant produced more gliders at the cheapest price than any other plant in the United States.
The Ford plant is a part of history read by many children in schools, and because two men had a genuine interest in the Upper Peninsula, great economic, industrial, and historical impacts were made.
So the next time you decide to grill or take a scenic drive in a Ford, make sure you stop to remember where it all began.