Walking Tour of Historic Northville, Michigan

Walking tour of Historic Northville, Michigan

Walking Tour of Historic Northville, Michigan

Northville, Michigan 48167, United States

Created By: Northville Historical Society

Tour Information

Walking Tour of Historic Northville

In 1824 and 1825, the first settlers came to the Northville area, clearing the wilderness to make a home for themselves. Most of these early pioneers were from New York, coming through the newly-opened Erie Canal. The first land located in what was then Plymouth Township was purchased by Alanson Aldrich. His eighty-acre tract contained the highest point of land in Wayne County. This is the area north of West Main Street and east of Linden. Shortly thereafter Alvale Smith purchased land to the east of this and sold it to John Miller. The opening of a grist mill by Miller around 1826 encouraged additional settlement, and by the mid-1800's Northville had become a well-populated little town. Land grants signed by President John Quincy Adams in 1825 and 1826 gave title to the first property that is today Northville.

Some of these early owners sold within the first year or two of ownership. Among early landowners of what is today the central city were Alanson Aldrich, Alva Smith, John Miller, Daniel L. Cady, Ira Rice, Hiram Robinson, and William Dunlap. Most of the homes on this tour will trace property ownership back to one of these men and their original land grants. The homes built by these people and others were sturdy, well-made structures, some of which still stand today. Many of these 19th century homes have been proudly and painstakingly restored and have helped make the City of Northville a showplace of Victoriana.

This walking tour is based on information from the book: Step by Step Through Northville: Four Walking tours, by Barbara G. Louie and Diane Rockall, Published by the Northville Historical Society, Copyright 1989. We will continue to update and add to its content, and woud be happy to receive feedback with any additional information you may have.

The Walking Tour was developed as part of a Girl Scout Gold Award by Jennifer Chalom, Northville Girl Scout Troop 40059.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

History is preserved at Mill Race Historical Village, a gem of the Northville community. Created in 1972 by the Northville Historical Society, Mill Race Village serves as a focal point for the Northville community. A living museum, the Vill... Read more
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 1919 the company and... Read more
The Marquis Theater, currently Northville's legitimate theater. The building was built in the late 1920's after a fire destroyed much of that section of Main Street. The clock has been added to the center of Main Street and further enhances... Read more
facing east 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."
Built in 1963, the Northville City Hall sits on property once owned by the Lapham family. In 1989 the location also houses the Northville police department and the community library.
This was formerly used as the Northville High School. Bui It in 1916, it replaced an earlier building which burned. It was built at a cost of $75,000.
The property on which this lovely brick home. Was part of Ira Rice's land grant. ice sold the land in 1830 Hiram Robinson. It was sold many times, until Elizabeth Scott bought it in 1882. Varying reports identify Winfield and Elizabeth Scot... Read more
Built in 1880, this home was owned by Mrs. L. Thompson Murray. The use of stars for ornamentation in the peaks of the dormers may be seen in several other homes near-by. The style has been called Second Empire which is hallmarked by a high... Read more
The entrance hall of this home, which was originally part of the living room, has a gray slate floor. The interior has been extensively remodeled. The architectural style appears to be Homestead.
The exterior of this home has been recently renovated; changes have been made to the porch that appear to return it to its original design. This home of Queen Anne style features stained glass, natural woodwork and gingerbread.
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 home at 520 was the ori... Read more
Classified as Queen Anne, this home was built and originally owned by Charles L. Dubuar in 1885. The interior has been remodeled. Remaining interior features include an open stairway, sliding doors, and all original bulls-eye type woodwork... Read more
The architectural style is Homestead. The home dates from the late 19th century.
This is known as the William Pitt Hungerford House, c. 1860. It is a fine example of Italianate style architecture, with 10-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. The building has served as a center for the Yarnall Gold Cure and Ebert ... Read more
This house was built in 191 2 for the Nelson Schrader family. The Schrader's operated a funeral home and a furniture store. Schrader·s Home Furnishings was located on North Center and closed in 1987. The interior of this home has oak wood... Read more
The Balden House was built in 1917-18 of brick, with a cut stone foundation. In later years the interior was remodeled as a doctor's office. Adolph Balden owned the ski jump at his farm south of town, now part of Hines Park along Hines Driv... Read more
Built in 1873 by Edward R. Kellogg, this home was built in sections. The oldest portion is that which faces the West-Dunlap corner. The original building had a flat top roof. The property dates from Alva Smith's-land grant and was sold to ... Read more
This restored brick Italianate home was built in 1882 as the home of the Dean Griswold family. The old summer kitchen still exists, having large beams and wide floor boards. All bedrooms had wash basins. There are twin parlors downstairs. T... Read more
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 clinic unt... Read more
William Stark was a Northville store owner who had this home built in 1880. Though it originally had only four rooms, Stark's son-in-law James Congo, added more to the house. It contains a Michigan basement and a carriage house is located b... Read more
Built around 1880 this house boasts narrow, steep stairs, rough cut studs and stringers and square cut nails in its construction. Its Michigan basement has typical two foot thick walls and a dirt floor, with three stone cisterns. The wing, ... Read more
Built for John and Mary Kellogg in 1885-90, the home was noted for several features. Besides its unusual curved corners and detail in the door and window frames, the gables also include gingerbread scroll and star fretwork and solid oak woo... Read more
Built between 1885-1890 by Dr. Yarnall who operated the Gold Cure clinic on Main Street for alcoholics and smokers. The home cost $5,000 to build. Mr. and Mrs. Ben Filkins were later owners. It is an elaborate home with fine moldings throug... Read more
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. Original owners included Charles... Read more
The Welch (Welsh) House was built in 1883 in the Italianate style. It is notable for its third-floor tower and widow's walk. The interior has large rooms and high ceilings. Andrew Jackson Welsh, who preferred to be call-ed John, was born Ap... Read more
This house was built by Mr. Woodman, a local carpenter, for Edwin B. Thompson in 1880-82. It is decorated with Victorian barge boards. The stained glass window in the hallway came from an 1866 Methodist Church in Mason, Michigan.
The builder and original owner was Mark Ambler in about 1890. The scroll supports to the roof and porch decoration distinguish its Queen Anne Style. It displays Gothic gables, non-symmetrical facade, se-cond floor wooden shingles, window pr... Read more
The builder and original owner was Mark Ambler in about 1890. The scroll supports to the roof and porch decoration distinguish its Queen Anne Style. It displays Gothic gables, non-symmetrical facade, se-cond floor wooden shingles, window pr... Read more
Built in 1880 in the Italianate style, its bay win-dows extend to the floor and its woodwork is marked with wide grooves. The garage was once part of the house, acting as a summer kitchen. It was once owned by the Detroit Edison Company, ... Read more
Built in 1875, this home has been thoughtfully renovated, preserving the unique and characteristic details of the Victorian period yet updated with premium and stylish decor. This beautifully landscaped home has a dark mystery behind it. I... Read more
Known as the T.G. Richardson House, this was built in 1 91 2 in the bungalow style popular at that time. The exterior white glazed brick, or tile, makes the home particularly unique.
This building dates from 1858, when it was remodeled. Since then it has undergone many changes. The bell was added in 1879, the baptistry in 1887, and major reconstruction took place in 1928. It was again remodeled in the 1950's. Later addi... Read more
This was bui It in 1858-60 on land that was part of the Dunlap farm. Lakes Captain Solomon Gardiner (Gardner) who reportely gave Northville the town clock, may have been the first owner. The detailing above the porch is of special interest ... Read more
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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, with a bake oven b... Read more
This is another one of Northville's oldest homes. Perched stately atop its own hill in im-posing splendor, this home was built by Daniel C Cady who arrived in Northville with his father in 1826. Although other publications have dated the st... Read more
Built in 1872, this is known as the Dr. Mark Gardiner (Gardner) House. The home is the Homestead style not entirely typical of that era.
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 structure in 1831. This m... Read more
Probably built in 1873 by Howard Stark, this is another Carpenter Gothic example showing intersecting bargeboards.
Walking toward Main Street, heading south, you will pass the American Legion building, originally the William Dunlap home, the original portion of which was built in 1831. At the southeast corner of Dunlap and Center the old Opera House onc... Read more
Northville's Presbyterian Church was founded in 1829. The present building dates from the 1870's. It has undergone extensive renovation throughout the years. The church house was built in 1929, with a fellowship hall added a few years late... Read more
Originally the home and grocery store of Anthony H. Kohlers, this building was constructed in 1887. As it was located directly across the road from the railroad depot, its transition to an inn came about naturally. Now the building is a po... Read more
The street is named for the Yerl<es family, a longtime prominent family in this city. The Yerkes were among the area's first settlers. This house built in the 1880's, was the home of the Briggs family during the 1930's
This home is typical of many of its period. At some time in its past the front porch has been enclosed.
Built in 1883, this home has 10-foot-high ceilings, ornate wood trim and original transoms. The roof was originally tin. The back porch was converted in the 1920's for year-round use. The garage was built to house a Model T and today is too... Read more
Northville's earliest cemetery, once known as Oakwood Cemetery, 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 property was donated... Read more
This was built by William Ambler probably in the 1850s. Ambler moved with his wife to Northville in 1854. He purchased property at Main and Center St. (Southwest Corner). In 1858 he constructed a balloon-construction style hotel first named... Read more
This home has been beautifully restored. The stained glass in the exterior windows and natural woodwork are typical of the home's interior features. It is Queen Anne style. It was probably also first built by the Ambler family.
Built in 1926 for Mrs. Angell and her three children, this home is bungalow style, typical of the period. It remained in the same family until 1988. In 1959 a training jet crashed behind this and adjoining homes, miraculously with no loss o... Read more
This house was built between 1836-62 by David Rowland. Floor timbers are logs with the top side adzed to take subf looring. The carriage house was built at the same time.
Built by Henry Waid in 1892, additions have been made through the years, but the home maintains many of the original characteristics and Queen Anne style. Waid brought his family to Northville in 1869, living first on First Street. The Roge... Read more
The Babbitt House was built in 1926. in the bungalow style typical of the period. The American bungalow is an expansion of its Indian origin. The term is applied to any low, picturesque house with large porches and a low pitched roof. This ... Read more
This home is believed to have been first built in t 859. It later became the Levi Eaton Home, homestead for Eaton Orchards. Eaton first took possession of the property in 1916. Two other Eaton homes have been located directly behind this ho... Read more
Opened in the early 20th century to produce chemicals, it continues to be a major producer of food flavoring. Next to the laboratories is the road which leads to Rural Hill Cemetery where many former residents are buried.


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