The Friends of Nankin Mills
Helping Ensure Nankin Mills Remains A Link To Our Past,
A Resource For Our Future

33175 Ann Arbor Trail * Westland, MI 48185
(734) 261-9498




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Nankin Mills Today

Nankin Mills in Westland, Michigan dates from 1842. Once a grist mill, it now serves as an interpretive center and tells the area's cultural and natural history. The building was once owned by Henry Ford who manufactured auto parts.

The Friends of Nankin Mills has worked with Wayne County Parks since 1987, to preserve this historic mill and ensure it remains an important community resource.

There is no admission charge for the Interpretive Center. Call for hours.

Questions about the Interpretive Center should be directed to 734-261-1850. Questions concerning Wayne County Parks (like picnic area rentals) should be directed to 734-261-1990 Monday to Saturday.

If you have any questions about about our group, please contact us at

Interpretive Program Topics

Local History Seminars
  • The Underground Railroad in Michigan
  • Great Lakes Native American History
  • First Settlement Families in Nankin Township
  • Gristmill Families of Nankin Mills
  • Copper Rush in Michigan
  • Henry Ford's Village Industries
  • Hines Park and Mary Ellsworth's Nature Center History
  • 1800s Mills and Villages of the Middle Rouge
Programs for the Whole Family
  • Winter Hike and Campfire
  • Slithering Snakes
  • Make it at the Mill - Birdhouses!
  • Maple Sugaring
  • Frog Call Rodeo
  • Let's Go Birding!
  • Bug Hunt for Families
  • Make it at the Mill - Kites!
  • Make it at the Mill - Bat Houses!
  • Let's Go Birding - Again!
  • Fall Family Fun: Leaves and Cider
  • Native American Heritage Day
  • Halloween Forest Fun Hike
  • Make it at the Mill - Pumpkin Catapult
Indoor Nature Presentations
  • Wildflower Folklore of Holliday Nature Preserve
  • Butterflies of Holliday Nature Preserve
  • Ferns of Holliday Nature Preserve
  • White-tailed Deer Through the Seasons
  • Deciduous Trees and Shrubs of Holliday Nature Preserve
Botany Hikes & Presentations
  • Winter Tree and Shrub Hike
  • Spring Wildflowers and Folklore Hike
  • Deciduous Tree Collections
  • Fabulous Fall Fern Folly
  • Conifer Tree Collections

Nankin Mills Note Cards

The Friends of Nankin Mills has boxed sets of note cards available with photos of Nankin Mills taken around 1918, when Henry Ford purchased the mill. Each box contains eight cards (four views) and nine envelopes. Inside of the cards is blank.

Cost is now only $5.00, including postage. All proceeds benefit the mill. Please make checks payable to Friends of Nankin Mills and send to:
Friends of Nankin Mills
c/o Nankin Mills Interpretive Center
33175 Ann Arbor Trail
Westland, MI 48185

Click photos for larger view.
Each photo shows two cards.

Who we are...
The Friends of Nankin Mills is a small, but growing volunteer organization. We were incorporated in 1988 and since that time have played an important role in preserving this historic mill. We work in partnership with Wayne County Parks Department to improve the building and ensure Nankin Mills is an important community resource and a fun place to visit.

What we do...
We sponsor activities and fundraisers including an annual mill lighting ceremony (with a visit from Santa); help fund exhibits; assist with activities and crafts during events; serve as docents; and much more.

Why we care...
Nankin Mills has served Wayne County since 1842. Once abandoned and in disrepair, the mill now houses an interpretive center that tells the natural and cultural history of the mill and the Rouge River watershed.

Please join us...
Help to share the past and ensure this historic mill remains part of this region's future. Many exciting projects remain and the Friends of Nankin Mills needs your help and financial support to make them happen. Contact us at or via the U.S. mail.

(734) 261-9498

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