Greetings from the Mayor of Northville

Apr. 23, 2021  PLYMOUTH VOICE.

Plymouth Michigan News


Office of the Mayor

Northville, Michigan


April 22, 2021

Dear Northvillians and Friends,

As we work our way toward the end of this pandemic, many Northvillians have spread hope through their religious organizations and by reaching out personally to seniors at Allen Terrace, retirees, youth, and family and friends. Spirituality means different things to each of us, but what is constant is the hope for the future of those in our community. Many in the “Ville” have come together in numerous ways this past year to assist others… through Zoom, socially distanced in-person activities, and in other creative ways as individuals and in small groups. I thank you for all you have done to keep folks connected and updated.

This week we will look at the traditional congregations in this town we love, but first let’s take a look at COVID activities and related information:

• Vaccination opportunities continue through the following organizations:


o Wayne County residents can call for appointments @ 866-610-3885.

o Meijer –

o CVS –

o RiteAid –

o Walgreens –

o Kroger –

• Nearly half of new coronavirus infections nationwide are in just five states – a situation that is putting pressure on the federal government to consider changing how it distributes vaccines by sending more doses to hot spots. New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey together reported 44% of the nation’s new COVID-19 infections in the latest available seven-day period, according to Johns Hopkins University. (USA Today)

• Gov. Whitmer and her 19-year-old daughter were given their first vaccination doses. The State urged millennials and people in Generation Z (age 16 and up) to get an appointment as soon as possible. Gov. Whitmer said, “It’s essential that we all get vaccinated so we can get back to normalcy, so we can hug one another, get back to work, ensure our kids are in school and are able to play sports and be together again.” (MLive)

• President Biden announced that he’s bumping up his deadline by two weeks for states to make all U.S. adults eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. He stated that adults will be eligible by April 19 to sign up and get in a virtual line to be vaccinated. Some states (Michigan) have already begun moving up their deadlines. (AP News)

COVID-19 confirmed cases: Northville has had 250 cases/8 fatalities, the Township: 2,088 cases/49 fatalities, Michigan: 883,000 cases/18,000 fatalities, the Nation: 32 million cases/573,000 fatalities, and Global: 142 million cases/3 million fatalities. (

We will transition to the history of our traditional spiritual institutions and their stories (references from books by Jack Hoffman and Michele Fecht), along with personal stories shared with me by my parents and grandparents. Our family has been involved with the Catholic, Methodist and Baptist congregations through the past generations.

Presbyterians organized the first church in town in 1829, followed by the Methodists in 1834, the Baptists in 1835 and the Lutherans in 1896. It wasn’t until 1922 that a permanent clapboard church was built for Northville’s Catholic worshippers. All five churches have gone through extensive renovations and new construction to accommodate their growing congregations over the past two centuries.


In 1829, former members of the Farmington church organized Northville’s house of worship through a meeting at Joseph Yerkes’ log cabin (according to the Presbyterian 175th Booklet). In the 1830s, a frame church was built here on land donated by Mr. Cady. In 1849, refurbishing started and has continued to this day. The original brick church is now undetectable within the present structure.


The Northville Record’s Centennial Edition stated, “In 1832 revival meetings were held at Benton’s schoolhouse” (located in now Cass Benton Park). In 1834, the Dunlap’s sold land to the church for $50. In 1885, the new church building on Dunlap and Center (Stamp Peddler today) laid its cornerstone. Mr. Beal (president of Globe Furniture and namesake of Beal Town) gave his time and talents toward the construction of the extensive woodwork in the church, fashioned in his shop on Cady and Northville Road. The Methodist Church moved to its present location on 8 Mile and Taft in the early 1970s. An interesting note … in the 1920s, radio (WWJ 950) was first heard here in Northville when all the congregations met at the old Methodist Church and Cliff Turnbull, owner of the Northville Electric Shop, dialed in a live music show from the golden tower of the Fisher Building. Part of his setup involved stretching a copper wire to an antenna at the top of the steeple.


This church was started in 1835 with land purchased from the Dunlap’s (who owned most of what we refer to as the Historic District today). In 1879, a 1,000-pound bell was purchased from the Northville Foundry where the Foundry Flask building is located today on Cady Street. In the 1950s and ‘60s, the basement was improved, and a new auditorium was completed. Then in 1973, a whole new educational wing was added. One of my grandfathers was an elder and the Sunday School superintendent for most of the earlier 1900s.


In 1896, services were held in the Rogers schoolhouse northwest of the village. Services were also held in the old Northville Opera House (Dunlap and Center). The new church building on its present location was started in 1897. Again, a church bell (1,250 lbs.) from the Northville American Bell and Foundry Co. was placed in the steeple. A unique fact was that morning services were in German and afternoon services were in English.


In 1887, a mission priest led the first Northville mass in the parlor of Mrs. Ives, who lived in a house on West Dunlap. Traveling priests would stay at the home of the Kohlers (Wagon Wheel building today). On many occasions, masses were at my grandparent’s home on Dunlap and High Street. In the 1920s, the Thayer Blvd. clapboard building was constructed and christened “Our Lady of Victory.” In 1957, the new OLV structure and social hall (which are still recognizable today) were constructed. My father was the original coach of the athletic teams (football, basketball, and even boxing) and was OLV’s first athletic director.

I continue to thank you for assisting all in the Northville Community to have hope in a better tomorrow. Please take the time today to reach out to those in your family, to your friends and those in need within our community. I ask you to continue to stay safe by masking up, social distancing and washing your hands frequently. Embrace a better tomorrow … today!

Keep that Northville Faith!

Brian Turnbull

Mayor – Northville

Plymouth Voice.

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