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Cherry Hill Park is the site where R.E. Olds developed his automobile. He was in business with his father, Pliny, and brother, Wallace, in a small shop here making stationary steam engines after moving here from Ohio in 1880.
The small business was a success and expanded significantly in 1896 with the manufacture of gasoline engines.
The Olds Engine Works got a boost with national exposure from Scientific American in 1892. The steam powered carriage, said Olds, “never kicks or bites, never tires out on long runs . . . does not require care in the stable, and only eats when on the road.”
Citing differences of managerial decisions, RE Olds left Olds Engine Works in 1904.
Oldsmobile became part of General Motors in 1908. At its peak in 1966 Oldsmobile had a mega-complex East of Logan Street (now MLK) on the banks of the Grand River.
Near this site in 1886 Ransom Eli Olds designed, built, and first drove a steam powered horseless carriage. In 1893 he brought out his first automobile using gasoline engine power. In 1897 he organized the Olds Motor Vehicle Company and produced a car named the Oldsmobile. In 1901 he first applied mass production methods to automobile manufacturing. In 1904, having retired from the Olds Motor Works, Ransom Eli Olds was persuaded by friends in Lansing to organize the REO Motor Car Company. The name being formed from his initials. The monument is at N42° 43.779′ W84° 32.892′.