You can’t have too many friends.
No one understands that better than the volunteer members of the Northville Township Historic District Commission members, who have been toiling away the last couple of years to ensure some of the township’s historic treasures don’t lose the battle with time.
Enter Friends of the Northville Township Historic District Commission, a new nonprofit group that will raise money to assist the Commission in meeting its historic preservation goals or preserving the township’s historical treasures and artifacts, the Observer & Eccentric reports.
Those preservation efforts include Thayer’s Corner, established three years ago as the commission’s first historic district. Thayer’s Corner’s was a rural farming community named for Vermont-transplant Rufus Thayer, Jr., who purchased the land in the late 1820s and early 1830s. His family occupied and farmed the land into the 20th Century.
One historic site at Thayer’s Corners, bounded by Napier on the west, Six Mile on the south, a heavily wooded area to the north and open fields on the east, the group plans to assist with is the schoolhouse. The plan is to re-create a pioneer school house from the 1800s that would give local children an opportunity to experience what school was like back then.
The schoolhouse was closed in 1951 and needs repairs the Commission estimates at around $100,000. The Friends group, which is applying for 501(c)3 nonprofit status that would allow supporters to write off their donations, will assist in fundraising.
Another project is the historic Waterford Cemetery on Franklin Road, which dates back to at least the 1820s. Many of the areas pioneers and Civil War veterans, including three African-American soldiers, are buried there.
Once the nonprofit status is granted, more avenues for funding are expected to open up, Friends member John Palmer told the newspaper.
“The most important thing is it will allow us to apply for grants that we just weren’t eligible for before we formed the group,” said Palmer, who’s also president of the Northville Township Historic District Commission.