Honoring our heritage and COVID-19 updates
Posted on 09/16/2021
Mayor Brian Turnbull Northvillians,

Get ready, we are gearing up for our annual Heritage (Victorian Festival) activities this coming weekend. Accordingly, I would like to talk about our past – our heritage – but also our present and our promising future.

This last Saturday, we gathered in Town Square to remember our nation’s 9/11 tragedy, honoring this historic 20-year milestone with a solemn ceremony for Northvillians. We also paid tribute to our own first responders who daily put themselves in harm’s way for the betterment of the community. And we expressed deep thanks to all those in our military who protect our freedoms.

Before transitioning to our festival activities, let’s look at a few key dates for your calendar and some COVID updates:

10/1 – Skeletons are Alive Launch Party: Display of Skeletons in our downtown Social District runs from Oct. 1 – Nov. 1. Stroll through our social district and experience Halloween at its best this October.
10/6 (6 p.m.) – Community History Night at the Community Center (303 Main St.). For more details and to RSVP, please call 248-305-2851 or register at northvilleparksandrec.org

10/7 (7 p.m.) – City Council Candidate Forum, supported by The Ville Magazine and The Marquis Theater. The forum will be in-person and also live-streamed from the Township Hall at Six Mile and Sheldon … details to follow.

10/09 (Saturday, 8:30 a.m.) – Cars and Coffee. Join our monthly gathering, complete with Northville Cider Mill’s cider and doughnuts for all in the community, sponsored by Alexander’s Custom Clothiers and Roush, at Main St. and Wing. Refreshments will be supplied by General RV – bring a car/bring yourself.

Solemn point of note – Longtime Northville patriarch and local businessman Chuck Lapham passed Sunday, Sept 12, and will now be watching Northville’s future unfold from above. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. A moment of remembrance was given at the 9/14 Old Timers lunch that he had planned on attending. Also, at that gathering, former Mayor’s wife Betty Allen was honored with a proclamation naming Sept. 14, 2021 “Betty Allen Day” in Northville for her service to the community and her volunteerism. Northvillian Mary Ware was the recipient of the 2021 coveted Senior of the Year award.

Also, some quick COVID updates:

A new vaccine mandate, announced by President Biden on Sept. 9, will affect some 100 million federal workers and contractors. The rule would require private companies with more than 100 employees to ensure their employees are fully vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing. The new mandates are part of a multi-pronged approach to combatting the COVID-19 crisis that also involves increased testing and mask requirements, safe school re-openings, and improved care for those with COVID-19. (CBS News)

Adding to the COVID-19 crunch is the fact that many Michiganders, having delayed seeking medical care during the pandemic, are now arriving at hospital emergency rooms in worse condition. “You could have all the (hospital) beds in the world, but if you don't have an adequate number of health care providers to staff those beds, that's where we run into a problem," said Brian Peters, CEO of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association. (Detroit Free Press)

COVID-19 confirmed cases: Northville has had 275 cases*/8 fatalities, Township: 2,426 cases /51 fatalities, Michigan: 1.1 million cases/22,000 fatalities, Nation: 42million cases/672,000 fatalities, Global: 226 million cases/4.7 million fatalities. (CDC.com) *Wayne County data

Heritage (Victorian) Festival Week

• Northville has more Victorian-era structures on the National Register than almost any other Michigan community. It’s part of our DNA, and we celebrate this through our Heritage Festival days.

• This year (after a year off because of COVID-19), the Chamber of Commerce will once again kick off the festival with a Heritage Victorian parade Friday night, Sept. 17 at 6:30 p.m. downtown. The festival will crescendo in the years to come as we near our Bicentennial as a community in 2027. The future of this annual event could continue to grow into many activities – historic walks, autonomous shuttle tours, Model-T tours along with horse and buggy rides. Historic Riverwalk pathways could also be part of the festival’s future.

Northville Heritage (Victorian) Festival highlights of the past

1927 – Centennial Parade was the the largest in our state’s history, thanks to the assistance of Henry Ford.

1989 – The first year of the official Victorian Festival, which featured an escape from a Houdini’s straight jacket act at the Town Square bandshell. Also included were a Victorian wedding at Mill Race Village, a parade, Historic District tours and the Heritage Costume Ball.

1990 –“The Great Wallenda’s” performed a high-wire act, third graders took historic tours by trolley car and a curriculum was established at Mill Race Village for local history education.

1991 – The third year attracted almost 10,000 visitors. We saw the first Mill Race Village duck race and a Victorian hat contest.

1995 – The Northville/Novi Branch of the AAUW debuted the Historic Home Tour.

2001 (Post 9/11) – The festival began with a moment of silence, the parade included bagpipers, patriotic music and a rededication of Ford Field.

2005 – A Victorian saloon opened on the upper level of the Cady Street deck.

Thank you for taking time to learn a little bit about Northville's past. I believe knowing our past is crucial to planning our future together. I fully encourage you to learn more about our community's rich history, either at Mill Race Village or at the library’s local history section. Take time to appreciate our Victorian heritage as you stroll through the historic neighborhoods and downtown.

Again, I thank you for your generosity to those in need in our community, along with your compassion and thoughtfulness through these pandemic times.

Keep that Northville Victorian faith!

Brian Turnbull
Mayor – Northville
BTurnbull@ci.northville.mi.us / 248.505.6849

historic parade and Model T