About This Place
Northville is a city located in and divided by Oakland and Wayne counties in the U.S. state of Michigan and a suburb in Metro Detroit. The population was 5,970 at the 2010 census. The Oakland County portion is surrounded by the city of Novi. The Wayne County portion is surrounded by Northville Township. Northville is served by Northville Public Schools. The city is located 21 miles (34 km) northeast of Ann Arbor and 29 miles (47 km) northwest of Detroit.
The first land patent in the Northville area was granted to Gideon Benton in 1823 where Cass Benton Park is currently located. The first settlers did not arrive, however, until 1825. Many of these first settlers were originally from New York State, but came from nearby, already settled Plymouth Township to Northville. Some of the first settlers were Alanson Aldrich followed by Alvale Smith, who sold his property to John Miller. Miller built the first mill in Plymouth Township, which Northville was a part of for over forty years, sometime between 1825 and 1828 where Mill Race Historical Village is now located. Many employees of the mill then began to build their houses near it. Northville got its name by being north of Plymouth. In 1827, Northville was home to a post office, Gideon Benton being the postmaster. Also in 1827, a medical practitioner, J.F. Davis, became the first resident doctor in Northville, and a tailor, tavern, shoe shop, and two blacksmiths were set up in town. Many of Northville's first settlers' surnames are used as 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 many other settlers. The first church was constructed by Methodists in 1836.
Northville continued to grow throughout the Victorian era. This is evident in the architecture around downtown where many homes are in the Queen Anne style. Northville's Victorian heritage is celebrated every September in the Victorian Festival. The first schoolhouse in Northville opened in 1853 and was taught by Jacob Ramsdell. Northville was incorporated as a village in 1867 from a portion of Northville Township.