The Northville Community Foundation (NCF) was founded on July 2, 1997. As the Northville community was growing it was in need of a vehicle that would begin endowing funds for the community for years to come.
The first task of the Foundation was a request by the Northville Township Board of Trustees to host their Centennial Year in 1998. The Centennial Year celebrations included Opening Ceremonies, the publication of a history book, Northville Township…From the Beginning, the publication of a community cookbook entitled Recipes & Remembrances, and the Closing Ceremonies. There was also a Dinner Dance and auction that raised funds to help begin the endowments for the NCF.
1998 also saw the beginning of the Northville Community Foundation’s annual Holiday Home Tour. This event kicks off the Holiday Season in Northville and features five privately owned homes that are professionally decorated for the Holidays. The Holiday Home Tour continues to this day and has been extremely popular, selling out each year.
The NCF was asked to take on the Independence Day Parade in downtown Northville. While we knew it would require a tremendous effort, the Foundation wanted to provide an event for the community that would bring together neighbors, businesses, and organizations in a day of celebration. With the help of many volunteers, the annual Independence Day Parade has grown throughout the years and is currently the largest one-day event in Northville, attracting over 20,000 spectators each year.
Today the Northville Community Foundation continues to host the Holiday Home Tour and Independence Day Parade for the community. In addition, the Foundation organizes a Backpacks for Kids program and a Senior Holiday Baskets program to help those in need. The Foundation also annually awards scholarships to students, and grants to nonprofit organizations, programs, and projects that help to make our community a better place to live, learn, and work. The many works of the Northville Community Foundation would not be possible without the support of our donors and Corporate Partners.
THE HISTORY OF THE NCF & MAYBURY FARM
In January of 2003 the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) asked the Northville Community Foundation to consider taking over the operations of Maybury Farm[JM7] . The DNR had closed the farm and was divesting itself of all activities other than parks. Negotiations began in January 2003.
Then, in mid-February of 2003, while the Farm was still under the care of the DNR, the unthinkable happened-- a fire of undetermined origin destroyed the barns and everything in them. Adding to this great loss, the State was self-insured so there were no insurance dollars to rebuild. The NCF knew that the task to rebuild would be enormous but decided to continue to move forward. Through the steadfast efforts of the Foundation’s Board and the DNR, an agreement was reached and the Foundation took over the Maybury Farm rebuild and operations on November 1, 2003. The driving force was to open this farm for school children throughout southeast Michigan to visit and to learn.
In January 2004, the search began for ‘just the right barns’ to replace those lost in the fire. New barn designs were offered however, it was felt that the preservation and refurbishment of existing barns would be more in keeping with the authenticity and heritage of the original farm. The Barn Committee selected barns from the property now known as Island Lakes Subdivision in Novi. The exterior and interior details of the over 100 years-old barns fit the farm perfectly and thanks to the efforts of the Novi City Council and Toll Brothers the barn donation was made possible. On August 7, 2005 the barns were moved as they stood-- 40’ tall and as wide as the two lane roads and their shoulders-- 4 miles from Novi to Maybury Farm.
From that day forward hundreds upon hundreds of individual and family donors and over 100 corporations stepped up to help the Northville Community Foundation rebuild Maybury Farm. These efforts required hundreds of volunteers and The Ford Motor Company was a major donor of manpower and expertise. The Northville Community Foundation received no tax dollars to rebuild. It was because of the outpouring of support from corporations and donors from over 23 communities that the rebuilding process was possible.
On September 20, 2005 the Northville Community Foundation
re-opened Maybury Farm. Staying true to the Foundation’s mission, this working farm continues to offer educational programs and activities for all ages.
Learn more about the complete history of Maybury Farm here.