42750 Grand River, Novi, Michigan 48377
The Anglin house is a brick structure exhibiting a mix of architectural styles. It demonstrates the increasing wealth of a growing community. The good farm land of SE Oakland County produced many commodities including: sheep, apples and other fruit and grain crops. Through the railroad and Grand River Avenue, the community had access to Detroit, Michigan and the world beyond. As farmers in the area prospered, they had more disposable income. The Novi Road, Grand River Avenue corners area was the focal point of the growing community. The fortunes of the merchants in the Novi Corners area increased as the prosperity of the community increased. The solidity of the Anglin house is a testament to the increasing wealth of the area.
43341 Grand River, Novi, Michigan 48377
This building and the one story shop building to the east were built in 1929. The two story building on the corner was originally constructed as a bank. However, the building was never operated as such due to the 1929 stock market crash and attendant run on banks. The building is constructed in the classical revival style with brick and limestone walls. This building is the most prominent remaining from the days that Novi was known as “Novi Corners.” The architecture of the building attempts to communicate the security, solidity and permanence that towns people, merchants and farmers of the day expected of their bank.
The line of shops to the east of the old bank building is the only contiguous commercial block to survive from the pre-freeway days of the village of Novi. This block of business shaped much of the image of the village as travelers passed by on the Grand River Road.
From: Preliminary Report and Recommendations of the Novi Historic District Study Committee, May 1999.
Coasting the Baseline
This is a commemorative marker located on Eight Mile road in Novi. The marker is a ten foot tall obelisk that describes the significance of surveying to the early settlement of Novi and Michigan and as a foundation to creating farms throughout the state. The marker was created in cooperation with several organizations and individuals in the Novi area and with significant funding support from the Americana Foundation. The marker is inscribed with many significant places and events from the Novi Community. In addition to financial support from the Americana Foundation, this project would not have been possible without the support of the City of Novi, Novi City Council, the Novi Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department, the Novi Public Services Division, the Novi Historical Commission (Roy Prentice, chair, Lynne Boyle, Kimberly Holdaway, Sandy McCarthy and John R. MacInnis, members), Michigan State University, Eagle scout Cameron Holdaway, Novi historian, Kathy Mutch, artist, David Barr and many other Novi citizens and organizations.
Michigan was the first state fully surveyed using the “rectangular survey” system. The rectangular system, advocated by Thomas Jefferson, standardized land descriptions by dividing land into rectangular areas such as townships, sections, quarter sections and so on. Jefferson believed in the importance of Agriculture as the base for any society. The rectangular survey system was designed to facilitate the transfer of land among government and individuals with the express intent of providing farm land and educational opportunities to America’s citizens. The rectangular survey was begun in Michigan in 1815. One of the primary reasons that it was instituted was to provide farm land for US armed forces personnel in return for their service during the war of 1812.
During 1815, the initial year of survey, crews left Fort Defiance (now Defiance) in Ohio, and worked their way north laying out the prime meridian. Because of potential Indian trouble to the west, the crews turned east toward Detroit near what is now Jackson, Michigan and began laying out the E-W baseline. During the first year, the crews made it as far as Novi, finishing their first year efforts at what is now the corner of Eight Mile and Haggerty Roads. Subsequent years brought the completion of the baseline all the way across Michigan and allowed the subdivision of land into townships (six miles square) and sections (one mile square). This initial 1815 survey is the basis for the layout of the all of the farms and other lands in Michigan, including Samuel Bassett’s property in Novi Township that is now Tollgate Farm. Because of the survey system instituted by Thomas Jefferson and begun in Michigan in 1815, Tollgate is now know as the SE1/4 of section 11, Township 1North (first township north of the baseline), Range 8 East (eighth range east of the prime meridian).
The project uses ten foot tall black and white granite markers to mark each community along the east-west baseline and to commemorate the people and/or events of significance to the local community. The obelisk shape of the marker was chosen as this shape was commonly used by early surveyors when marking significant points. The shape of the Washington Monument was selected because of Washington’s vocation as a surveyor. Two communities, Northville and Farmington, along Eight Mile have already installed obelisks as part of this project. To date, each marker that has been installed is on a municipally owned site, in a highly visible, landscaped setting. All of the marker locations are publicly accessible with seating that invites visitors to spend time learning more about the history of the area and the role of surveying in its development. It is planned that eventually, markers will be placed in communities along the baseline across Michigan from Lake St. Clair to Lake Michigan to tell the story of the importance of the baseline to facilitate land exchange and the settlement of the new territory of Michigan.
Each Marker contains some elements in common with other markers in the “Coasting the Baseline” series. All markers share a discussion of the basic surveying tools, the measurement chain and staff compass. Each marker also describes the four concepts of land ownership in America: that of the Native Americans, European Aristocratic (all land owned by the King), Colonial American and our current Jeffersonian concept. Each obelisk will also contain elements of local history. In Novi, it is anticipated that some of the key elements will be Novi’s farm and fruit growing origins, the importance of the railroad and other early modes of transportation to Novi’s farm economy and Novi’s transition to a recreation Mecca for Detroit with the development of Walled Lake amusement areas. In addition to the actual obelisk, the site will include attractive plantings and hardscaping that encourages visitors to linger and learn of their heritage.
David Barr is an artist who lives in Novi, but is known throughout the world. His work is displayed at Hart Plaza in Detroit, in front of the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing, at Bishop Airport in Flint, in front of Chrysler’s European Headquarters in Brussels and elsewhere. Mr. Barr also created Michigan Legacy Art Park on the grounds of Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, Michigan. The park is intended to bring art to Northern Michigan communities that do not have the same access to art that is available to those living in more urban environments. Mr. Barr developed the Coasting the Baseline obelisk project and donates all of his time and artistic expertise to the communities involved.
Michigan State University Tollgate Education Center
The Michigan State University Tollgate Education Center is one of only a few MSU facilities located in southeast Michigan. The site is unique for its open spaces, indoor and outdoor teaching areas, and extension staff resources. The Tollgate farm is one of the oldest farms in the Novi area. Settlement of the property dates back to 1832, when the 160 acres that would one day become the Michigan State University Tollgate Education Center were purchased by Samuel Bassett from the federal government for $1.25 per acre. John Bassett was Samuel Bassett’s son. John was the first resident of the farm. He married Ervilla Coomer in 1837. The couple moved to the farm shortly thereafter. John and Ervilla raised nine children. John was a prominent member of the Novi community. He farmed his property with oxen, was a township supervisor and operated a wagon shop on the corner of 11 Mile and Grand River. The Bassett family also started the Bassett School. The building that once housed the Bassett School still stands on the corner of Meadowbrook and 13 Mile. The Bassett family owned the property for over one hundred years. In 1951, Adolph and Ginger Meyer purchased the Bassett homestead and, over time bought property to recreate the original 160 acre parcel.
During the Meyer ownership, Tollgate was run as a small farm, producing beef cattle, hogs, chickens, corn and hay. The farm also served as a backdrop for many ads and commercials. The Meyers believed strongly in the importance of agriculture to society. To support these beliefs, the Meyers formed the Americana Foundation which donated 60 acres of the farm and all of the buildings to MSU in 1987. Access to the remaining 100 acres still owned by the Americana Foundation is made certain under a long-term lease.
Currently, MSU uses Tollgate for many research, teaching and demonstration projects. With the first identification of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in North America occurring in the Detroit area, Tollgate has played a role as a key site for Michigan State University and Ohio State University research efforts. Tollgate also houses many important MSU Extension offices. The SE Michigan District Coordinator’s office is located on the farm. Several district agents have their offices on the property also. Several hundred volunteers now help keep the farm looking great. While most of the volunteers come from MSU’s Master Gardener program, many others are attracted to the open spaces that constitute Tollgate. Volunteers keep the over twenty demonstration gardens in good order, run a maple syrup making program each spring and host several events for the public throughout the year. Tollgate is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 8:00 AM to dusk.
41414 Thirteen Mile Road
The building that once housed the Bassett School still stands on the corner of 13 Mile and Meadowbrook Roads. Although the school was not built on land owned by the Bassett family, the school was known as the Bassett School. Typically, a sponsoring family might have supplied property to construct a school, materials and/or funds to build the school, room and/or board for the teacher, text books and other learning materials or other support. John Bassett, owner of the Bassett Farm on Meadowbrook Road north of 12 Mile, was known for his large library and strong belief in education.
From: History of Oakland County Michigan
(1877) by Samuel W. Durant
The schools of Novi are eleven in number, taught in substantial and commodious houses. The terms in most of the districts are two, each four months in duration, though this is not universal, as in district No. 8, embracing Novi Corners, there is held a spring, fall and winter term, aggregating nine months of teaching in the year. Male teachers are employed for the winter term, and females for the summer, the salaries of the former being generally forty five dollars per month, and those of the latter ranging from three dollars to five dollars per week, with board.
43707 Grand River, Novi, Michigan
The "Queen Anne" style was popular in the United States in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. It is the style most frequently meant when the generic term “Victorian” is used. Distinctive features of American Queen Anne style may include an asymmetrical facade; dominant front-facing gable, overhanging eaves, one or more towers, a porch covering part or all of the front facade, a second-story porch or balconies, differing wall textures, such as patterned wood shingles shaped into varying designs (including resembling fish scales), classical columns, spindle work, monumental chimneys, and wooden or slate roofs. Front gardens often had wooden fences.
The house on 43707 Grand River, Novi, Michigan painted “centerline yellow,” is a wonderful example of Queen Anne architecture. The house has been the residence of Lee Bego
44107 Grand River, Novi, Michigan
Built in 1938 by the Button family, the property accommodated both residential and commercial activities, including an existing cheese factory. This building demonstrates one of the earliest appearances of the International architecture styles in Novi. The common characteristics of the International style include: a radical simplification of form, a rejection of ornament, and adoption of glass, steel and concrete as preferred materials. Further, the transparency of buildings, construction (called the honest expression of structure), and acceptance of industrialized mass-production techniques contributed to the international style's design philosophy.
Where: 46689 West Road, Novi, Michigan 48377
This two story Italianate house is known as the Chapman House or the Chapman/Porter house. The house features a low-pitched, square roof typical of the Italianate style of architecture. As with most old farmsteads, the Chapman house also bears evidence of numerous additions. Many farm homes would grow as the family within grew and prospered. The property also sports a row of Austrian pines, a species typical of old farmsteads.
The Chapman family and relatives owned this property near Walled Lake and other property elsewhere in what is now Novi. The Chapman’s were instrumental in starting an early school in the Novi area. During the 1940’s the Chapman House was converted from a residence to a restaurant know especially for its Chicken.
Emery House/Vennix Residence
41660 Nine Mile Road, Novi, Michigan 48377
Built in 1860, the Emery Home is a beautifully preserved example of Greek Revival architecture. Greek Revival architecture was very popular in the early to mid 1800’s. During this time period, almost all public and private buildings incorporated some of its elements. This style of building was characterized by symmetrical shape, low roof lines, columns and pediments mimicking Greek temples. It was thought by Americans of the time to embody the concept of Democracy. Although this style of architecture could become fairly lavish in the South, in the North, homes were austere farmhouses with understated columns and were almost always painted white.
This house was owned by John C. Emery II. John Cutler Emery II, was a son of Josiah Emery, brother of John Emery. The first John Emery was an early Novi settler and the first physician in community. Emery II owned 120 acres surrounding this home. He was a prominent member of the Novi community, serving as the Township supervisor from 1859 to 1866 and as Justice of the Peace in 1867.
Early to mid 1900’s
SE corner of Ten Mile and Novi Roads, Novi, Michigan 48377
Novi was once a community based on Agriculture. Grains and other annual crops, live stock and especially, orchards were fundamental to the prosperity of the area. Apples, pears and other tree fruits were once grown throughout Michigan. In the early 1900’s, Oakland County lead the state in apple production and Novi was one of the leading fruit production areas in the county. If you look at old air photos of the community, orchards occur throughout the area. Even today, the remnants of orchards occur everywhere in Novi. Even the names of neighborhoods such as Orchard Ridge, Orchard Hills and Simmons Orchard reflect the character of the farm community that was once Novi.
Located on the SE corner of the Novi and Ten Mile Roads, Erwin Orchards was a prime example of the orchards that were once so prevalent in the city. Before moving to South Lyon, the Erwin family based their business in Novi. The last trees from one of their pear orchards can still be seen at this location.
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.
Native American Activities
Native Americans camped on the shores of Walled Lake prior to the first government surveyors. The wall from which the name Walled lake is thought to be derived, was possibly constructed by Native Americans, perhaps by members of the Ojibwa, who are thought to have established a presence in the area by 1810. The native culture at the lake is believed to have been still in place in the early 1830s, around the time of the arrival of the first non-native settlers. The numerous intersecting trails around and near the lake, along with local lore, suggest that the lakes area was an active area of settlement and trading.
It all began in June 1825, when Walter Hewitt moved from New York and built a log cabin in the area while his family stayed in Farmington. Hewitt explored the north side of the lake and discovered the Indian trail where the Pottawattomies traveled from the north and west from Detroit.
Walled Lake was a favorite resort for the Indians, some of whom lived there permanently on the west side of the lake. A field was cleared and was used as a camping ground for as many as 500 members of a tribe at one time.
Another soldier from the War of 1812, Cornelius Austin, settled in the colony in 1829. For the next 50 years, Austin lived near the south side of the lake. It is recorded that during this time, he saw as many as 500 Indians on the ground and was a witness to their dances, orgies and the famous Green Corn Dance. The Green Corn Dance, celebrated in the fall, was done to express their gratitude for bountiful harvests, the preservation of their lives and appreciation of the blessings of the expiring year. Austin is known to have said of the Indians, "for neighbors, you could have none better."
In 1830, Jesse Tuttle settled in the heart of the village, after moving from Pennsylvania. The land he settled is still known as the Tuttle Homestead.
Tuttle built a log house on the site, which later was changed to a tavern to serve the needs of the Indians, settlers and travelers.
The village's first trading post was opened in 1830 by two men, Prentice and King, both of Maine. Indians supplied venison, berries, moccasins and fish to the settlers in return for salt, potatoes, flour, pork and bread.
West Oakland Press Gazette
Thursday, September 6, 1979
First Novi Settler
Settlement of Novi began in 1825 with the arrival of Erastus Ingersol and his family from New York State. The Ingersol family settled on land just west of the corner of 10 Mile and Haggerty Roads. Other settlers, many also from New York, arrived shortly after the Ingersol family. According to a Historical Essay Read by Robert Yerkes at the Dedication of the Novi Town Hall in September 9th, 1876, “The next was John Gould, who came the same spring upon the N. E. 1/4 of section 36. Pitts Taft and Joseph Eddy followed the same season, making four settlers in 1825. In the spring of 1826 Wm. Yerkes and Thomas Pinkerton came, one on section 35 and 36, the other on section 25. In the fall of that year Samuel Hungerford came on section 27, Daniel Bentley on section 25, James Wilkinson on section 24 and Benjamin Hungerford on section 33. In 1827, John Hiles on section 26, Sarah Thornton on section 27, Benjamin Hance on section 2, Mary McComber on section 24, Thomas I. Mulford on section 13 and Myra Garfield on section 24.”
The Ingersol family did not remain long in Novi. After a few years of farming, they moved to Delta Township west of Lansing, where they were the first settlers in this area also.
From: History of Oakland County Michigan
(1877) by Samuel W. Durant
On the morning following his arrival, Mr. Ingersoll, with the help of his son, E.S. Ingersoll, now of Eaton county, Michigan, commenced felling trees and clearing a space for the establishment of their home and the erection of the first house in Novi,--though then it was in Bloomfield, under which name, until 1827, was comprehended not only the present towns of Bloomfield and West Bloomfield, but also those of Royal Oak, Troy, Southfield, Farmington, Novi, Commerce, Milford, and Lyon. On the east, now the town of Farmington, they had neighbors within comparatively easy distance: Arthur Power, an enterprising Quaker, Dr. Ezekiel Webb, George W. Collins, George Brownell, Samuel Mansfield, Wardwell Green, Hezekiah B. Smith, Solomon Walker, Howland Mason, Timothy Tolman, Orrin Garfield, and a few others. Some of these were six or seven miles away, but in those days men might live double that distance apart and be neighbors still. In this case, as in others at that time, each readily and cheerfully gave a half-day's assistance, and this, with his own and his son's diligent labor, enabled Mr. Ingersoll to move into and occupy his new house on the 10th of May, twenty-three days after felling of the first tree upon its site. Settlers' houses have often been built in much less than that time, but perhaps in this case the weather was unfavorable, and probably the deacon's house was of unusual size and pretensions. As to the eligibility of his location and fertility of his land, they were certainly among the best in the township then, as now. On the 10th of May, the same day on which he first occupied his new house, he made a further entry on the same section,--24. E.R. Ingersoll, son of Erastus, relates that after their settlement there the Indians (of whom there was a village or encampment of some three hundred at Walled lake, and who were their only neighbors on the west) supplied the family with venison and fish for some three or four years.
43005 Nine Mile Road, Novi, Michigan
The Knapp Cemetery is typical of many small family graveyards of the 19th century. It was established in 1836, when Benajah Aldrich set aside one half acre of his farm for burial purposes. Henry Knapp, Benajah Aldrich’s brother-in-law, was the first to be buried here. One can find the Victorian symbol for grief, the weeping willow, on many of the gravestones, as well as footstones, many in their original positions, which bear only the initials of the deceased.
The City of Novi takes care of the cemetery. Burials no longer take place at the cemetery.
47133 W. Nine Mile Road, Novi, Michigan
The building was constructed in about 1839 by James Palmer, a blacksmith in Northville. The house was purchased by the Lincoln family (no relation to Abraham Lincoln) in 1844. The architecture is a similar design to the Abraham Lincoln House in Springfield, Ill. Once a dairy farm, the home has 14-inch centered black walnut wood beams.
Currently: 23893 Beck Road, Novi, Michigan
Originally: 43489 Grand River, Novi, Michigan
The church was started in 1875 with $200 and dedicated in l876. The bell in the tower weighed 750 pounds. The first pastor was Rev. John A. Boughman. The church closed for several years in the l920s. It reopened in June 2, l929. In the spring of l997, the building was moved to its current site on Beck Road by the Oakland Baptist Church. At some point in its past, the building lost its bell tower.
From: History of Oakland County Michigan
(1877) by Samuel W. Durant
In the year 1875 steps were taken towards the erection of a suitable house of worship. A location was selected in the west part of the village of Novi Corners, and a lot was purchased there from Mr. C. C. Gage, at the price of two hundred dollars. On this lot the church was built, and was dedicated March 22, 1876. It is a handsome frame edifice, twenty eight by forty-five feet in size, with seating capacity of one hundred and sixty. Its cost was seventeen hundred and fifty dollars. In the tower is a fine-toned bell of seven hundred and fifty pounds weight.
25445 Novi Road, Novi, Michigan 48377
The original burial ground that would become the Novi Cemetery was donated by early Novi settler, Daniel Lee. In 1844, remains from graves on the Loren Flint farm, many dating from the early 1830’s, were moved to the cemetery. The property was expanded to 2.5 acres in 1873 and renamed the Novi Cemetery. Many veterans are buried in the cemetery including those who served in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War and WWI and WWII.
Old Township Hall
45285 W. Ten Mile Road, just west of Novi Public Library
The Novi Town Hall was originally sited on Novi Road just south of Grand River. The property was donated by C.C. Cage. Novi’s first Town Hall, constructed in 1876 at a cost of $800, caught fire in an electrical storm and was destroyed in 1912. The present white frame building was constructed in 1914 and owned for many years by Frazer Staman, a former Novi supervisor. The building was sold by Frazer and Irene Staman to the Novi Historical Society whose members raised the money to move it from its original location and provided the labor to restore it and then donated it to the city. In 1986, the building was moved from Novi Road to a site just west of the old Novi Library. The Novi Town Hall was moved a few hundred feet southwest again in 2008 to make way for the new Novi library. When the Town Hall was placed at its current location in Novi’s Fuerst Park, it received the addition of the wing containing restroom facilities.
Charles Rogers Mansion
43180 Nine Mile, Novi, Michigan
This Colonial Revival structure was built by Charles Rogers on the farm once owned by early Novi settler, Sally Thornton. Rogers married Isabelle Thornton, granddaughter of Sally Thornton. The fireplace of the mansion features a cornerstone from the smokehouse of the Thornton farm inscribed 1877. The neighboring Thornton house was moved to its current location on Eleven Mile in the 1980’s. Local history credits Charles Rogers with being the inventor of condensed milk. The building now houses a restaurant.
Sally Thornton House
Sally Thornton, a 48-year-old widow, came to Novi with her five children who were in their teens and early twenties. Like many early settlers to Novi, The Thornton family came to Novi from the state of New York. They arrived in 1827. The Thornton family travelled in a party lead by William Yerkes. One of the Thornton daughters was married into the Yerkes family. Sometime after arriving in the Novi area, she bought 400 acres on both sides of Novi Road just north of Nine Mile Road. Initially, the Thorntons lived in a log cabin that was located on the west side of Novi Road, but later moved to the east side of the Road. Sally Thornton built a Greek Revival house on the east side of Novi Road in 1860.
In 1992, the house was rescued from destruction and moved to its current site on Eleven Mile Road by investor William Garfield. The Thornton House was expanded to about twice its original size after it was relocated to its present site.
Samuel White Homestead
46040 Nine Mile Road, Novi, Michigan
The Samuel White family was one of the first to settle in Novi Township. White (1794-1870) and his wife, Amanda (1799-1869), immigrated to this area from Royalton, New York, in 1827. White had recently retired from the army, ending a career that included service in the War of 1812. A prosperous farmer, White was the second supervisor of Novi, a delegate to the 1835 Michigan Constitutional Convention and active in numerous other civic endeavors. He built this house for his wife and four children around 1840.
This Greek Revival farm house, built by Samuel White, shows the influence of the people from upstate New York who first settled this area. The deed to the property was signed by John Quincy Adams. Built around 1840, the house retains its original architectural features. The classic entrance, friezes and returns are typical of the style. Heavy native beams support the house, which rests on a fieldstone foundation. The barn, part of the working farm until 1956, was converted to a house in 1980.
Where: 46400 Ten Mile, Novi, Michigan 48377
This brick two story Italianate residence was built by Richmond Simmons. This home was the second brick home built in Novi, the first being erected by Owen Whipple just west of Novi Corners in 1856. The house and outbuilding were once part of a farm comprised of over 150 acres. The Simmons farm was primarily focused on fruit production. Fruit trees, especially apples, were grown widely throughout SE Michigan. Novi and the surrounding communities were especially known for the quantity and quality of the fruit which they produced. The location of a railroad depot in the community allowed Novi farmers to get their produce to market easily, cheaply and in a timely manner.
Novi Train Depot
43963 Grand River, Novi, Michigan 48377
During the early and mid 1800’s, travel was difficult. Muddy roads and horse drawn vehicles did not allow fast transport or conveyance of large loads. Although railroads were constructed in Michigan beginning in 1838, they did not arrive in Novi until the early 1870’s. Railroads allowed the transportation of large quantities of materials, quickly and at much lower shipping rates than was possible via horse and wagon. The arrival of the railroad was a boon to the Novi community. Farmers were able to ship commodities that were bulky and/or perishable to markets in Detroit, Chicago and elsewhere in the United States. Novi was selected to be on the route of the Pere Marquette railroad rather than its neighbor West Novi (located on the corner of Wixom and Grand River Roads). The presence of the railroad allowed Novi to thrive. Without it, West Novi faded away.
Walled Lake Casino
Where: South end of Walled Lake
The casino dance hall was built near the intersection of S. Lake Drive and 13 Mile Road. The Casino was originally constructed in 1917. It was destroyed by fire in 1922 and was immediately rebuilt. It was destroyed again by fire in 1965. The casino hosted numerous musical groups including Benny Goodman, The Dorsey Brothers, Glenn Miller and Guy Lombardo. It contained a 120' x 140' hardwood dance floor. The ceiling was decorated with specially-designed wooden and silk stars that were hand-painted and lit to create the effect of the night sky. The casino was the hub of Walled Lake Recreation activity.
43546 Grand River, Novi, Michigan
Novi was initially an agriculture based community. Many products were raised in the community including apples, wheat, dairy, sheep and many other commodities. Since the community had access to the railroad, commodities could be easily transported to Detroit, Michigan and elsewhere in the country. The Wool House was where local farmers brought their fleeces to sell. Sheep and wool production has long been one of the main outputs of the community. In 1910, the Novi Census indicated that our community consisted of 1226 people and 9094 sheep.