Wayne County Michigan
Genealogy and History




Northville, Michigan (Center Street - 1914) - contributed by Paul Petosky

The plat of this village was recorded by Wm. Dunlap and D. L. Cady in 1840. The first frame building in the township was erected where this village is located, and as early as 1827, John Miller and Israel Marsh built a grist mill near what is now Northville. The stones were made out of a large boulder that was found in the vicinity, and they did good work. In 1838, according to Blois' Gazetteer, the village contained a Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist church, four stores, two taverns, a flour mill with two run of stones, a saw mill, a furnace, a carding and cloth dressing establishment, and a chair factory.

The village is on the line of the Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad, and after Wyandotte is the largest manufacturing center in the county outside of Detroit. It has a most admirable location. The land is somewhat broken and hilly, and the region is so much more attractive than the more level portions of the county, that it is called the Switzerland of Wayne.

The village was incorporated on March 13, 1867, the corporation limits including all of Section 3 in the town of Plymouth. The following officers were provided for in the act of Incorporation: a president, two trustees to be elected annually, and two for a term of two years, a marshal, treasurer, clerk, and assessor. The first election was to be held on the third Monday of April, and afterwards on the first Monday of April. Under the act elections were held and officers were elected, but the record book has been lost, and therefore the names can only be obtained fro the year 1880: President, Eli K. Simmonds; Clerk, Charles R. Stevens; Trustees, M. D. Gorton, L. W. Hutton, S. Clark; Assessor, W. H. Ambler; Treasurer, D. I. Northrup; Marshal, J. W. Davis.  Under Act of February 23, 1881, the village was re-incorporated, the charter election being held on March 7.

In 1834 a stone school-house was built on the main street. It was occupied for many years and is now a blacksmith shop. The present Union School building was built in 1865, at a cost of $12,000. It was enlarged in 1887 by an addition on the south side at an expense of $3,000, and again in the spring of 1889 by one on the north side at a cost of $4,500. The opera house was built in 1879 by Samuel J. Little. In 1887 it was sold to Dr. Moffat, of Lansing. It seats about 1,000.

There are three cemeteries, the old, the new, and the Hillside, the last named is owned by a stock company, and the others by the village. A lodge of Odd-fellows, known as Wah-Bun-Nong, No. 48, was organized February 9, 1850. Northville lodge of F. & A. Masons, No. 186, was organized January 28, 1866. The Northville Masonic Association was incorporated in 1881, for the purpose of erecting a Masonic hall. It occupies the second story of a double brick store, and cost, with its fittings, about $7,000. The building was dedicated in 1882.  In 1887, it was enlarged by adding a second story to two or more stores. The hall has a frontage of seventy-four feet by a depth of seventy-seven feet and is one of the finest lodge rooms in the county.

In the spring of 1888, the Northville Circulating Library Association was formed. The library is in charge of E. R. Reed as librarian, and it is hoped that it may eventually grow into a large and nourishing institution. The Northville Record, an eight page, five column quarto, with a circulation of 800, is published every Friday by E. Roscoe Reed. It was started in 1869 by Samuel J. Little. After passing through the hands of Joseph Haas, George Kator, J. H. Junkins, and possibly others, it came into the possession of its present owner.

In way of fire protection the village has buckets and ladders, procured in 1883, a hook and ladder apparatus, purchased in 1885, and a chemical engine, purchased in 1886. The population of the village in 1870 was 626, and in 1880,  934.

Northville, Michigan (Detroit Edison Building - 1928) - 200 N. Center Street


Source: History of Detroit and Michigan, Silas Farmer, 1890



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