In 1848 the Michigan legislature established the Michigan Asylum for Educating the Deaf and Dumb and the blind. Flint was selected as the site for the new institution. The first student arrived on February 6, 1854. After the School for the Blind
opened in Lansing in 1880, the Flint facilty began serving only deaf children. The curriculum, which combined academics and practical training. emphasized "market gardening and general farming." Boys studied carpentry, printing, tailoring and farming, while girls learned the sciences of cooking, sewing, darning and patching. The schools mission was to educate deaf children so that they "may earn a living ... may have culture enough to enjoy that living ... (and) may be fitted for citizenship.