Historical Commission

Since 1983, the Novi Historical Commission has worked in partnership with the City of Novi, Novi Public Library, educators, and others to provide programs and services concerning the history of our community. The collection and preservation of the history of Novi is being accomplished through the solicitation of donated documents, photographs, and recorded personal experiences. The Commission’s work includes the development of presentations, exhibits, and events that showcase the over 180 year history of Novi. The Novi Historical Commission is located within the Novi Public Library and offers open office hours in the Local History Room on the first and third Mondays of each month.

 Historical Commission Resource Management Plan

Villa Barr Tales, Trails, and Details

Villa Barr Tales, Trails and Details book coverThe Novi Historical Commission is selling Villa Barr Tales, Trails and Details written by world renowned artist David Barr. Books can be purchased for $20.00 at the Novi Library check-out desk in the main lobby.

This book is the story of the home, grounds and sculpture of Villa Barr, Novi’s Cultural Education Center.

Historical Commission Members

Kathy Crawford
John MacInnis
Tammy-Lee Knopp
Rachel Manela
Kim Nice

Staff Liaisons:
Julie Farkas
Betty Lang

Historical Commission 2017 Meeting Schedule

January 25  Agenda   Minutes
February 22  Agenda   Minutes
March 22  Agenda
April 26
May 24
June 28
July 26
August 23
September 27
October 25
November 21 (Tuesday)
December (no meeting)

Click here for 2012-2016 Meeting Archive.

Local History Office Hours

Meet members of the Novi Historical Commission, tour the Local History Room, and receive research assistance on the first and third Mondays of the month.

Office Hours:

Mondays, 12-2pm
May 1, Jun 5

Mondays, 6-8pm
Apr 17, May 15, Jun 19

1926 Car with Walled Lake Wheel CoverJuly and August by appointment.


Kathy Crawford, the Local History Chair, recently received this email and picture from a car buff living in Ottawa Canada. “I thought that you would enjoy seeing this original tire cover I have on the back of my Franklin Touring 1926. Pierce Management sold this promotion item in 1930 (made by G.H. Robinson Co. Chicago). This was on the original spare balloon tire when I bought the car from Quebec City. I guess the family bragged about their trip to Walled Lake. I ride my car a lot in Ottawa and I get lots of comments about the tire cover.

Recent Events

Historical Commission Visits Novi School

Rachel Manela, member of the Historical Commission, visited four 2nd grade classes to help them learn about Novi history.

Visit To School

Taking Novi's Local History To Various Groups Within The Community

Kathy Crawford, Historical Commission Chair, presented a program at Fox Run. Over 200 people attended to hear about the Walled Lake Amusement Park and Casino. She repeated this program at Novi Library on Thursday, October 20, and at Novi Rotary meeting at the Suburban Showplace.

Walled Lake Amusement Park and Casino plaque Walled Lake Amusement Park and Casino Flyers and Brochures
Kathy Crawford with program participants Program participants walking around room with Walled Lake Amusement Park and Casino displays

Upcoming Events

Historical Commission Program History of the War Dogs

Thursday, 7-8:30pm
May 11

Service dogs are used in war, police agencies and as therapy dogs for veterans. Learn about the history of these heroic dogs, from how they saved over 15,000 lives in WWII to restoring the lives of injured veterans. The presenter will show pictures and be accompanied by K-9 Ziva.

Age: 12+
Price: Free Community Event
Registration Begins: Apr 1
Registration Ends: When Filled
Location: Whole Meeting Room

Document Donation Day

May 21, 2:00-4:00pm Local History Room

Be a part of Novi history. Donate photos, school yearbooks, letters or other documents pertaining to the history of Novi which can be added to the collection. If you wish to take your original documents home there will be someone on hand to scan and return them to you. Local History Room tours will also be available

Completed Projects

Motorcities Markers

Motorcities Marker Kiosk Motorcities logo Motorcities Marker
Click here to see the Markers

The Novi Historical Commission has designed eight Motorcities Markers commemorating historic areas in the city. This project is part of the Motorcities National Heritage Area, which “preserves the cultural and historic landscapes associated with the automobile in Southeastern and Central Michigan.

DAR Honors a Patriot

DAR Ceremony  DAR Ceremony

At Novi Cemetery, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution hosted the grave dedication ceremony for Patriot Hooper Bishop, a veteran of the American Revolution. He was born in 1762, and at age 75, moved to Michigan with his son, Levi. Hooper Bishop died at the age of 99.

Click here for additional pictures of the ceremony.

Baseline Project

Baseline Dedication
David Barr - Novi Artist
Baseline Dedication
Novi Historical Commission & David Barr

Located in the ITC Community Sports Park at Eight Mile and Napier Roads, the Baseline Marker is the third in the series designed by Novi Artist, David Barr. The marker was created in cooperation with several organizations and individuals in the Novi area and had significant funding support from the Americana Foundation. Dedicated in 2011, Novi's obelisk has key elements depicting Novi's farm and fruit growing origins, the railroad, Grand River Avenue, and other early modes of transportation essential to Novi's economy, as well as Novi's transition to a recreation destination for Detroit.

   Brochure - Coasting the Baseline
   Final Obelisk Design


Contact Us

For more information, or questions about the Historical Commission, please contact us.

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