History of Northville

The following pictures and captions are from Northville...The First Hundred Years by Jack W. Hoffman and Early Northville by Laura Smyth Hixson.  Both books are available at the Northville District Library.

Northeast side of Main Street in 1830.
The northeast side of Main Street with the old frame building reportedly built by John Miller in 1830.

The Electric Light Plant image - taken around 1900.
Long before Northville Downs became a reality (mid 1940s), 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 hole golf course.  A few years later a group of men, led by the late Ed Starkweather, started an "Athletic Park" on the site where harness racing occurred.  Later, it was here that the Wayne County Fairgrounds were located.  The building in the foreground is the then new electric light plant, having replaced the generator in the Globe furniture factory.  This picture was taken shortly after the turn of the century.

Boot & Shoe Shop

The story is told that Main Street was "paved" with leather scraps tossed out by shoemakers who operated businesses here early in the Nineteenth Century.  The Phillips family settled here early, and obviously one of them was a shoemaker.  It is believed, although the author cannot be certain, that this shop was located on the north side of Main Street, between Center and Hutton.

The Old Crow's Nest
The Old Crow's Nest.  This was located in the intersection of Main and Center Streets.  Band concerts and speeches were given here.

The Northville District Library has an extensive local history department and a searchable database online.  Check them out here.