The Northville Township's Historic District Commission (HDC) created the Township's first Historic District in 2011, encompassing the 1877 Thayer's Schoolhouse and the adjacent Thayer's Cemetery at 6 Mile and Napier Roads. The process for forming a historic district is formidable and includes providing exact historic data of its existence. The Historic District is protected by state law and will be preserved for future residents. The schoolhouse is currently being renovated. The (private) cemetery contains gravestone markers of the Township's earliest residents and is still in operation.
The HDC and Township Historic Fund have completed the following: all interior partitions, mezzanine and floor were removed, as well as a 50's era concrete porch, new ceiling joists and new cedar shingles have been installed, the bell tower was replicated and installed, including a bell made in Northville in 1900. The original eaves trim and corbels were removed, replicated and installed, and the interior of foundation has been tuck-pointed. Engineering work is now complete with interior floor renovation to begin soon. Improvements to the exterior are planned. Renovations have been funded from annual Northville Township budgets and donations to the Northville Township Historic Fund.
Northville Township was once home to major county and state institutions, including the Northville Psychiatric Center (now Legacy Park), the Wayne County Training School (now Northville Hills and surrounding neighborhoods), the Detroit House of Corrections (DEHOCO), Maybury Sanitorium (now Maybury State Park), and Scott Prison (now homes and businesses - still under construction). Waterford Village (where Meads Mill Middle School now stands) was once larger than Northville and included dams and mills in the mid-1800's. Nearby is Waterford Cemetery (still existing) located on Franklin Road, where several Civil War veterans are buried. Henry Ford chose Northville Township for one of his Village Industry sites - the Ford Gauge Plant, renowned for its world-famous Jo Blocks. The building sits on Mill Street by the railroad tracks. It is a building that ideally should be preserved for Township history.
Thanks to the generous donations of several people, including Jeff Snyder of MasonPro and an anonymous donar, we have made major improvement this year. It now looks like a "little red schoolhouse", as it should. We hope to have an openhouse in the spring of 2024.