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Livonia Historical Society

At our last meeting before the Christmas break, the Invocation was given by Victoria Haltom. Kudos were given to the Livonia Civic Chorus per this past Sunday afternoon’s Christmas Concert. Thank you notes were highlighted by President Claude Kendrick, and Bob Carris mentioned that over $472 was raised by Livonia A.M. Rotary members and guests who ran the red kettle bells last week for raising funds for the humanitarian work of the Salvation Army. 12 members were present face-to-face, and 2 members were online.


Bring him back again!” That’s what members said after Jim McConnell from the Livonia Historical Society gave a presentation on Livonia’s history. What a fabulous history our community has! What became Livonia began in 1818. Created as Livonia Township in 1835, it also saw in that same year the beginning of the Clarenceville Fractional School District, one of the little villages that made up the township of 36 square miles. This was two years before Michigan became a state in the Union (1837). Today we are blessed with Greenmead, the site of the old Simmons Hill Farm, with buildings that were moved from Quaker Acres (the 1846 Quaker Meeting House near Seven Mile) and the hamlet of Newburg (Newburgh Road and Ann Arbor Trail) and elsewhere in Livonia.

Jim related how Livonia once had nine small school districts. Seven of those nine came together to former the Livonia Public Schools, with old Bentley High School starting in 1947.

Jim shared a host of dates, of which, these are a few:

  • 1945 - Founding of the Rotary Club of Livonia

  • 1948 - GM’s first hydraulic plant, with Ford coming to Livonia in 1949

  • 1950 - Livonia becomes a city and is able to tax the race track, among other things

  • 1956 - Livonia Historical Society founded

  • 1976 - The beginning of Greenmead in the nation’s bicentennial year, and fast forward to...

  • 2025 – 75th Anniversary of the City of Livonia

Jim shared much more, including Rosedale Gardens, with its fascinating history, and the Wilson Barn, and a smattering of the LHS’s history and his involvement. Did you know that 22 LPS second-grade classes participate annually in “Spend a Day at Greenmead Newburg School?"

Finally, he thanked the LAMR for $1,000 to place the Bentley historical marker.

Happy bucks came rolling in, followed by the Four Way Test and Greg Greene’s “bad jokes,” oxymoronic or otherwise!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to All!

Dave Stechholz, Scribe


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Rotary Club of Livonia AM

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37637 Five Mile Road, #179

Livonia, MI 48154

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