Flint, lies along the Flint River, 60 miles northwest of Detroit. It originated in 1819 as a trading post opened by Jacob Smith. Laid out beginning in 1830 and named for the river (which the Native Americans called Pawanunking, “River of Flint”), the settlement progressed as a fur-trading, lumbering, and agricultural centre. Abundant local supplies of timber led to the development in 1886 of the Durant-Dort Carriage Company, and by 1900 Flint was producing more than 100,000 horse-drawn vehicles a year. The body, spring, and wheel companies of the carriage industry became suppliers for the Buick Motor Company, which moved from Detroit to Flint in 1903. The next year Buick came under the direction of William C. Durant, who in 1908 consolidated Flint’s major manufacturing resources into the General Motors Company. In 1936–37 the General Motors plant was the site of a three-month sit-down strike by workers protesting deteriorating working conditions at the plant; the strike settlement, negotiated by the United Automobile Workers of America, helped to establish that union as the bargaining agent for most American autoworkers and as an important force within labour relations.