Find a Piece of Living History at Livonia's Greenmead Park and Village
July 19, 2018
Situated in the northwest section of Livonia, Greenmead is a collection of relocated buildings from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The buildings were significant in their time as the townships of Wayne, Plymouth, Northville and Livonia were taking shape.
The 95 acres which encompass Greenmead Village and Park were originally farmland, purchased by Joshua Simmons in 1824. Simmons worked the farm, raised his family and eventually sold the land. The farm had numerous owners over the years, and in 1976, was purchased by the city of Livonia at the urging of the Livonia Historical Society. The village and park are owned and maintained by the city. Three full-time employees, along with seasonal workers and a host of volunteers keep the park operating year-round.
Emily Tchorz is the Program Supervisor at Greenmead. She says the goal of Greenmead is to preserve history.
Preserving yesterday for tomorrow, really, is what we're doing," she says. She adds that Livonia has a rich history and the people at Greenmead want to make sure future generations know the history of the region. "We're looking back at all the people who made today possible."
Maureen Casey is the Recreation Supervisor at Greenmead, and explains that the park and village are partially funded through the city. She says the park is fortunate to be able to access resources for maintenance through the city's department of public works. Additional funding comes through the Livonia Historical Commission, the Friends of Greenmead and their fundraising efforts, and private donations.
Because Greenmead is a public park, visitors are welcome to visit, to walk through the village or visit the community gardens during daylight hours. The park features picnic tables, ample parking, grassy areas, and nature trails. There is no charge to walk through, but guided tours are offered on Sundays throughout the summer between 1 and 4 p.m. at a donation request of $3. The tours are self-guided, and each house or building is staffed by a docent who is able to give the history of the building and answer any questions. Each building is furnished in period style. Tours are offered through the week as well but must be scheduled in advance. Casey adds that this year, Greenmead has developed a mobile app so visitors can use their phone as a guide and receive a narrative of the history of the buildings. However the mobile app allows visitors to view the many buildings in the village from the outside only.
Tchorz says that many people come through the village walking their dogs, to walk the nature trails or to have a picnic. She adds that the park sees many individuals from the nearby office park stop by and enjoy their lunch hour on Greenmead's grounds. Casey says the peaceful quiet of the village lends a feeling of being away from the bustle of the city.
The grounds at Greenmead offer family-friendly events throughout the year. Coming up on July 28, the park will host a Touch a Truck event and a Flying Pancake Breakfast. The family-friendly event will allow children to get up close to large vehicles, including firetrucks, to sit in the seats, honk horns and let their imagination go. The Livonia Historical Commission will be hosting the pancake breakfast before the Touch a Truck event begins. Later in September, the Fall Flea Market is one of the park's most popular events. More information can be found on the park's website.
In addition, Greenmead is a popular spot for weddings. The Historic Newburg Church is available for weddings and small receptions can be held at either the Friends Meeting House or the Alexander Blue House.
Greenmead is located at 20501 Newburg Road, south of Eight Mile Road, in Livonia. The village is conveniently located near expressway exits and local hotels. For more information or to check on upcoming events, please call 248-477-7375 or check the website at http://www.greenmead.us.