School Tours at Mill Race Village
According to a history written in 1941 by school students and placed on file with the Washtenaw County Board of Education, the school opened with 35 students in grades 3-12. Originally located 6 miles west of its current location in the then agricultural community of Salem, on the west side of the present Currie road, the school was known as the Wash Oak School because it drew students from both Washtenaw and Oakland Counties. The forest was so lush around the school, blazes on trees pointed students to the school! In 2019, students rely on parent drivers and school buses to make their way to the Village to have one of our knowledgeable docents teach them about life in the 1800’s.
Many students will arrive dressed in clothes from the period. When the children dress the part, they become more fully immersed in the experience. The NHS has a full 2nd grade curriculum available for teachers.
School Tours are just $5 per students with the teacher and up to 3 adults admitted for free. Each student will leave with a NHS pencil and a certificate that they attended school in the one room schoolhouse. A docent will meet the class at the beginning of their rental and give a one hour tour. The teacher then has the opportunity to teach class in the one room schoolhouse for all long as they like. At the end of the rental the docent returns and ensures the school has been tidied and ready for the next class!
Our guided tours last for one hour. Docents with knowledge of the Village lead our guests through the buildings while telling the history of each. They will also share the history of Mill Race Village and the beginnings of the Northville Historical Society. The land has its own interesting history from the site of a Grist Mill to being owned by the Ford Motor Company, who then donated the land to the City of Northville to be used as a park. Learn about Northville’s rich history, the story of the Mill Pond, the race and the importance of the Rouge River in the development of the community and the industries that called Northville home.
Private tours are offered at $5 per person with 10 people minimum. The optimum number of people on a tour is 25 but simultaneous tours can be conducted for groups with higher numbers.
Contact us regarding school or private tours
Wash Oak School Guidelines
The Northville Historical Society would like to remind you that this is a historical building and that many hours of volunteer labor and money have gone into restoring these buildings and grounds. The Society deems it a privilege to make this school available to students and teachers, and we trust that you will respect the historical value of the premises during your visit.
Although suggestions are in the Curriculum Guide at the Northville Library, you will conduct your day according to the plans you make. Available are McGuffy Readers, Noah Webster Spellers, slates, slate pencils, pinafores and vests. A Society representative will be here to greet you and take you on a tour of the Village.
A MAXIMUM OF 32 STUDENTS can be accommodated. At least one adult is required to assist the teacher for the entire day. The cost of $ 5.00 per person (minimum of $50) is to be paid on arrival (subtract the $30 deposit, no admission is charged for the teacher and three adults). Credit card preferred. Checks should be payable to the Northville Historical Society.
Adults are welcome as assistants to you that day -- these helpers should remain with the students while you check in upon arrival.
Use only the front door of the school. The rear door is an emergency exit only.
The Cady Inn will be open for the use of restrooms. An adult must be present with the students at all times.
No decorations or displays of any kind will be attached to any building or tree -- either interior or exterior. No open flame devices are allowed -- either inside or on the grounds.
Any personal property brought into the premises shall be at the sole risk of the user; the Northville Historical Society shall not be liable for any loss/damage to any property for any reason.
The Society expects the classes to be conducted in an orderly manner, in full compliance with all applicable laws, regulations and rules. The teacher assumes full responsibility for the conduct of all persons and for any damage to any part of the building during the school day. If you find something defective, or if any items are broken during your stay, please report it to the Docent.
Have students pick up all paper both inside and outside and clean out their desks at the end of the day. Please sweep the floor, the broom is located inside the door. Cloths are in the desks to clean the slates. Trash should be taken to the dumpster (behind Cady Inn).
A Certificate of Attendance and pencil for each student will be available the day of your visit. The certificate should be filled out by you.
Buses or other vehicles are to unload and park in the lot only; no vehicles are allowed within the village. Please try to adhere to the arrival and departure times that you indicate.
You are renting the School only and it is located in a public park. The grounds will be open to the public at that time.