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Northville is a city located in and divided by Oakland and Wayne counties in Michigan. The area is a suburb of Metropolitan Detroit. The population was 5,970 at the 2010 census. Most of the city is in Oakland County and is surrounded by the city of Novi. The Wayne County portion is surrounded by Northville Township. Northville is served by Northville Public Schools. The city is located 21 miles northeast of Ann Arbor and 29 miles northwest of Detroit.
Northville was first settled in 1825, was incorporated as a Village in 1867, and as a City in 1955. It was originally one of two communities within Plymouth Township, until Northville Township split off to form its own township in 1898.
The first land patent in the Northville area was granted to Gideon Benton in 1823 where Cass Benton Park is currently located. The first settlers did not arrive, however, until 1825. Many of these first settlers were originally from New York State, but came from the nearby, already settled Plymouth community to Northville.
Some of the first settlers were Alanson Aldrich followed by Alvale Smith, who sold his property to John Miller. Miller built the first mill in Plymouth Township, which Northville was a part of for over 70 years, sometime between 1825 and 1828 where Mill Race Historical Village is now located. Many employees of the mill then began to build their houses near it. Northville got its name by being north of Plymouth.
In 1827, Northville was home to a post office, Gideon Benton being the postmaster. Also in 1827, a medical practitioner, J.F. Davis, became the first resident doctor in Northville, and a tailor, tavern, shoe shop, and two blacksmiths were set up in town. Many of Northville’s first settlers’ surnames are used as street names today. These include Rufus Thayer Jr. (Thayer Blvd.), Joseph Yerkes (Yerkes St.), Daniel and Samuel Cady (Cady St.), William Dunlap (Dunlap St.), and many other settlers. The first church was constructed by Methodists in 1836.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.07 square miles. Out of that 2.05 square miles is land and 0.02 square miles is water.