24000 Taft Road, Novi, Michigan
Jacob and Rebecca Fuerst Farmstead
In 1827, Gamaliel Simmons of New York purchased 160 acres of land from the Federal government in what was then Farmington Township. In 1830 the first Novi town meeting was held in the Simmon's residence, a Greek Revival structure that stood on this site until it was replaced in 1931. Over the years, the farm had several owners. One barn was built by the Dennis family, which owned the farm from 1836 to 1898. Jacob and Rebecca Fuerst of Greenfield Township bought the farm in 1918.
The Fuersts and their six children expanded the existing orchards to encompass most of the 160 acres of the farm. They joined the Erwin and Simmons families and others in establishing Novi as a major fruit growing area. Their product included apples, peaches, plums and pears, along with butter and eggs. The Fuersts built two large barns during the 1920s. In 1931, an Arts and Crafts style bungalow was built which testified to the growth of the Fuerst enterprise. In 1973 the Fuersts' daughters Ruby and Iva sold their property to Novi Schools, stipulating that it be held for public use. The sisters lived in the house until their deaths in 1991. The farmstead was purchased by the city of Novi in 1997. The original 160 acre farmstead is now the site of Novi’s City Hall, Police Department, Powers Park and High School. Before the house and barns were removed in 2008 to make way for the current park, the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Fuerst Farm Brochure.