The Mill Race Historical Village was established in 1972 as a site for relocating buildings faced with demolition. That year the City of Northville donated the New School Church to the Northville Historical Society and it was the first structure moved to this site. The society's focus has been the preservation and display of architectural styles and furnishings of the nineteenth century. The Gazebo and Hirsch Blacksmith Shop are reproduction buildings.
The purpose of the Northville Historical Society is to bring together those people interested in history, and especially in the history of Northville, Michigan. The Society’s major function is to discover, collect, observe, advance, and disseminate knowledge of the history of the Northville region.
Please contact the office if you are interested. A docent is a tour guide and represents the Village. There are many types of docents.
Wedding Docents attend a one-hour rehearsal and open the Village for the two-hour wedding time, making sure that the wedding runs smoothly and within the guidelines set forth in the wedding contract. Wedding Docents are paid $50 per wedding.
Parking Attendant Docent
Parking Attendant Docent are used by Wedding Docents due to the wedding size, or if weddings are scheduled back-to-back. The Wedding Docent is responsible for obtaining his/her own Parking Attendant if they feel one is necessary. Some use them regularly and others don't.
They do not come to the rehearsal, but arrive before the beginning of the wedding to put out the signs and coordinate the parking and public visitors. Parking Attendant Docents are paid $20 per wedding.
Party Open & Close Docent
Party Open & Close Docents arrive at the time designated and open the building specified. They answer any questions and point out the restrooms, paper products, telephone, dumpster, and broom. They are there to make sure that the renter gets settled and follows the guidelines set forth in the Rental Contract. They come back at the time designated to close up. Party Open & Close Docents are paid $20 per Open and Close.
Sunday Open & Close Docents
Sunday Open & Close Docents must know the history of the buildings and the Village. They arrive at 12:45pm on Sundays when the Village is open—from the second Sunday in June through the third Sunday in October and Special Events (garden walk, Christmas walk, etc.)—to set up for opening at 1:00pm and then closing up at 4:00pm. They coordinate the volunteer docents so there is a volunteer docent for each building. Open & Close Docents are paid $25 per Open and Close.
Private Tour Docents
Private Tour Docents must know the history of the buildings and the Village. They provide 1 to 1 ½ hour tour. Private Tour Docents are paid $25 per tour.
School Tour Docents
School Tour Docents must know the history of the buildings and the Village. They arrive in the morning to provide a 1 to 1 ½ hour tour and return in the afternoon to close up. They are there to make sure that the teacher gets settled and follows the guidelines set forth in the school guidelines. School Tour Docents are paid $25 per tour.