Northville Heritage Hike

Historic Trail of Northville

Northville Heritage Hike

Northville, Michigan 48167, United States

Created By: Scouts Troop755

Tour Information

This is a walking tour of Northville, created by Troop755 of Northville (established, 1947) and is open to anyone.

For Scouts, this is a Credentialled Trek and you may earn a medal if you complete all the requirements.

PocketSights has a white arrow to denote your desired direction of travel. However, it is often misleading so just ignore it.

Use "Start Tour" and "Follow Me". As you approach each Point, then PocketSights might automatically display the information for that Point. If it does not, then tap on the number and the information will appear.

Northville was first settled by European Americans in 1825, and was incorporated as a Village in 1867. It was not incorporated as a City until 1955. Originally one of two communities within Plymouth Township, Northville Township split off in 1898 to form its own township.

The first land patent in the Northville area was granted to Gideon Benton in 1823; the current Cass Benton Park is located here. The first settlers did not arrive, however, until 1825. Many of these first settlers were originally from central and western New York State, with ancestors in New England. Others came from the nearby, already settled Plymouth community to Northville.

Among these early settlers were Alanson Aldrich, followed by Alvale Smith, who sold his property to John Miller. Miller built the first mill in Plymouth Township, sometime between 1825 and 1828. Mill Race Historical Village is now preserved at this site. Many employees of the mill began to build their houses near it. Northville was named for its relation north of Plymouth.

In 1827, Northville was home to a post office, and Gideon Benton was the US postmaster. Also in 1827, J.F. Davis, became the first resident doctor in Northville. A tailor, tavern, shoe shop, and two blacksmiths also started business in the village. Many of Northville's first settlers' surnames became namesakes for contemporary street names today. These include Rufus Thayer Jr. (Thayer Blvd.), Joseph Yerkes (Yerkes St.), Daniel and Samuel Cady (Cady St.), William Dunlap (Dunlap St.), and other settlers. The first church was constructed in 1836 by a Methodists congregation.

Northville Heritage Hike created by Troop755 & Crew755
Original research and route: Ray Friedrich and Bart Heldke
PocketSights Tour: Gary Kittrell, April Sarvis, Morton Chalom

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

First Presbyterian Church. Chartering Organization for Troop755, Crew755 and Pack755 Northville's Presbyterian Church was founded in 1829 on land donated by Daniel Cady. The first wooden structure was erected in 1831. In 1838 there was a t... Read more
Adopted as the symbol of Northville Timeless with a Twist
Marquis Theater   The Penniman-Allen Theatre, or P & A Theatre, opened in 1925, built for Kate Penniman-Allen, who also constructed the theatre of the same name in Plymouth. The Renaissance-Revival-style theatre cost over $150,000 and... Read more
The Masonic Temple on Main Street's south side was built in 1880 on the second floor of a general store owned by Barton Wheeler. This double occupancy arrangement was Northville's first "condominium."
The Old Crow's Nest.  This was located in the intersection of Main and Center Streets.  Band concerts and speeches were given here. Interurban RR  A little more than a century ago, southeast Michigan had a mass transit system in the inte... Read more
Built in 1885-86 the tower of this church was rebuilt in 1960. The clock, a gift of John or Solomon Gardiner, was installed in 1893. The Northville Record records its dedication in July, 1893. The church was sold and turned into a restauran... Read more
Casterline Funeral Home In 1937 Ray J. Casterline broke away from working with his cousin at a storefront funeral establishment and furniture store to begin his own journey as a licensed funeral director at 122 West Dunlap Street in downtow... Read more
American Legion Hall This was the original home of William Dunlap. The American Legion building, originally the William Dunlap home, the original portion of which was built in 1831. The building was lifted and rotated 90 degrees for the ent... Read more
Original Scout Hall Located at 143 E. Dunlap Street. The original Scout Hall was built with WPA funds in the late 1930’s. It was used by the Boy Scouts until 1962 when the city wanted the land for redevelopment. In that same year the new... Read more
First Baptist Church The first church built in 1837 this building dates from 1858, when it was remodeled. Since then it has undergone many changes. The bell was added in 1879, the baptistery in 1887, and major reconstruction took place in 1... Read more
Randolph A.B. Ames house built 1843, School-Northville Academy This Greek Revival-style house was built in 1843, so it's one of the older buildings in Northville, and it's very well-preserved. The land was part of the original land grant re... Read more
Buchner Hill and Sanitarium As you stand at the Randolph/High St intersection, imagine it’s winter 1910 and you have just sledded down the steep hill to the north.  The police have even closed the road so you won’t get hurt as you fly ... Read more
31.  318 Randolph This may well be the oldest house in Northville. It was once a wing of the William Dunlap home which faced Center St. Dunlap, one of the community's earliest settlers, is said to have built Northville's first frame struct... Read more
239 High Street The Edward H. Lapham House was built around 1835-40. Originally 1 ½ stories high, it now stands a full three stories on the south side. The central core chimney served fireplaces in the basement, dining room and kitchen, wi... Read more
223 High Street Known as the T.G. Richardson House, this was built in 1912 in the bungalow style popular at that time. The exterior white glazed brick, or tile, makes the home particularly unique.
218 Dunlap Frank Clark, Fish Hatchery Supervisor This residence was built between 1884 and 1890 for Frank Clark, the son of Nelson Clark, who moved his fish hatchery from Clarkston to Northville in 1874. The fish hatchery eventually became ... Read more
404 Dunlap Built in 1880, this is one of the few buildings in Northville with Italinate architecture, so it goes straight up, instead of having the Victorian porches, etc.  Check out the gables (the supports to the overhanging roof and the... Read more
552/548/542 Dunlap Street These houses, if examined closely, can be seen to resemble each other. Built by Frank Beal in 1880, they are typical of many homes seen in the downtown area. They were designed in the Carpenter Gothic Style. Origin... Read more
501 Dunlap Known as the Atchison House, this home was built in 1882, with Darius Knapp as the first owner. Dr. R. E. Atchison purchased it in 1926. The. Second floor acted as a hospital until 1960; the building continued in use as a medical... Read more
502-520 Main Street The houses along this block were all part of a small medical center including this house that was the residence of Dr. Linwood Snow. No. 508 was his office, with the nurses' residence next to that at 514. The nursing ho... Read more
Sorry, there wasn't any information provided for this point of interest.
Art House/Comerica Scout connection The building at 215 W. Cady Street is designed in the Colonial Revival style similar to the nearby U.S. Post Office and City Hall. Owned by the city, the structure was erected in 1963 to house the Northvi... Read more
Northville's earliest cemetery, once known as Oakwood Cemetery dating back to 1808, has today taken the street name. Graves here date back to the early 19th century. Many of the community's early settlers are buried here. Ancestors say the ... Read more
508 West Cady Street Training jet crash 1959 at the home of Ms. Ada Rose in her vegetable garden. It was a RF-84F Thunderflash military jet. The pilot was preparing his approach to Detroit Metro Airport when he experienced a “frozen Stick... Read more
Fish Hatchery Imagine looking out from 7 mile and seeing fish-ponds the size of 4 football fields, and they were part of an estate the size of 13 football fields.  This place was huge!  In fact, the Northville Fish Hatchery was the fir... Read more
Northville Labs Northville Laboratories was established in Northville in 1910 and is one of the few businesses to be still here. It quickly gained a reputation as a premier vanilla extract supplier to the dairy, beverage and bakery industr... Read more
Rural Hill Cemetery Ira Rice claimed the southwest corner of the cemetery property in 1826 by a land patent issued by President John Quincy Adams in October of that year. The land was sold to Hiram Robinson in July of 1830. He subsequently ... Read more
To the south side of 7 mile at this point there used to be a large mill pond that was used for Ambler's Foundry (steelmaking)
Northville [Horse] Driving Club and Fairgrounds Long before Northville Downs became a reality (1947), Northville boasted a race track.  At the turn of the century the property was purchased at Center and Seven Mile Road for a private nine ... Read more
Log Cabin, 318 River Street   Probably built in the 1930’s this is of original log construction. Log Cabins came to the United States with the Swedes in the middle colonies. They squared the sides and corners as cabins moved west the sq... Read more
Silver Spring Well It has been a Northville landmark for generations. As far back as 1913, city residents enjoyed cold spring water from the artesian well here, and visitors traveled here to fill their bottles. On the other side of the near... Read more
Stinson Aircraft Corporation  (no longer here) The Stinson Aircraft Company was founded in Dayton, Ohio, in 1920 by aviator Edward “Eddie” Stinson, the brother of aviator Katherine Stinson. After five years of business ventures, Edd... Read more
342 E. Main Street Yarnell Gold Care If you read the description of the Wedding Cake House, what do you notice about this new house?  Yes, it's another made with Italinate style architecture, with 10-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling wind... Read more
371 E. Main Street This house was built by James A. Dubuar in 1875. Dubuar owned the J. A. Dubuar Lumber Company just across Griswold. Dubuar constructed the home for his daughter and son-in-law when they were married. When Dubuar died in 1... Read more
Ford Valve Plant  (now: Planet Fitness) Originally named the Union Manufacturing and lumber company built in 1882. Company was purchased by J.A. Dubuar and named the J.A. Dubuar Mfg. Company. It was then purchased from the J.A. Dubaur esta... Read more
Mill Race Village (Northville Historical Society) The site was originally was the Northville Mills grist mill built by John Miller and Grant Nash in the fall of 1828. The mill ran until it was bought and torn down in 1847 by Captain William... Read more
31.  Chase Mansion The estate has a rich history near two newer communities: Northville and Novi. 1830s: Known as the Beal Family Farm. 1899: Original home built. 1916:  George B. Yerkes, relative of William Yerkes of Chase Farms, bought ... Read more
8 Mile Meridan Marker On April 18, 1815 surveyor Alexander Holmes entered into a contract with Edward Tiffin, Surveyor General of the Northwest Territory, to establish the Baseline. He was also to survey a portion of the 96 townships that h... Read more
Parmenter Cider Mill Benijah Aldrich Parmenter (nicknamed “Madge”) was born in Novi, Michigan on May 7, 1842. Originally from New York State, his parents were early settlers to the area. Benijah received his early education in a log sc... Read more
31.  Northville Lumber Originally established as a flour mill by John Miller in 1827 in what was then known as the “northernmost village of Plymouth Township,” (later to become Northville), history buffs may be interested to learn that... Read more
Sorry, there wasn't any information provided for this point of interest.
Set up your tents and camp here Cook dinner Having fun with your friends Sleep overnight Make a cooked breakfast Go home Write a 500 word essay on the history of Northville and a report of your hike (what you like most, etc.) ...


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