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New to Novi?

Take Fox Run’s history tour

Created date

January 24th, 2012

Michiganders and others considering moving to Fox Run, an Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich., might be interested to know there is a local history buff on the staff. Fred Moschetta, the community s marketing director, has taken a keen interest in Novi. He s raising his family here and his parents moved to Fox Run from Dearborn. I have always been a history buff and thought I should learn more local history to interest people who are moving to Fox Run, Moschetta says. I visited both Walled Lake and Novi libraries and found more stories online.

Down memory lane

Now, Fred shares little-known facts and interesting folklore about the town in a historical tour of Novi open to residents and priority list members. The tour takes place every autumn and begins in Walled Lake, a town near Novi. Walled Lake s eponymous lake actually does have a stone wall running right down its middle. Moschetta says the wall was originally built to separate the lake for two Native American tribes, the Potawatomi and the Ojibwa, and the wall remains today. Moschetta says his tour is nostalgic for many people who visited the Walled Lake Casino many years ago. The casino, which burned down on Christmas Day in 1968, attracted vacationers from Detroit. A dance and concert hall there hosted legends like Frank Sinatra and Glenn Miller, Moschetta says. Many of our residents enjoyed the amusement park and dances, and they all have stories to share, he says.

How Novi got its name

If you ve ever wondered how the town of Novi got its name, Moschetta cites a number of different stories. In one version, the town s name is taken from a train station on Grand River called Toll Gate No. VI. Moschetta says some people thought the Roman numeral six was meant to spell Novi. Another legendary tale, Moschetta says, dates back to a town hall meeting in 1830. In an election to vote for the name of the new city, the ballot held three names: West Farmington, Republic, and Beulah. Rumor has it some people thought Novi was one of the choices because the date on the ballot was Nov. 1. Moschetta notes yet a third tale. In the 1880s, a resident from Novi was travelling through the former Yugoslavia and found a letter from a former Napoleon soldier who left the area with a local Muslim girl because of their forbidden love. They relocated to a land north of Detroit and named it Novi, which translates to new in the Slavic language.

Bright future

Not to be outdone by its colorful past, modern-day Novi has plenty of shopping, restaurants, and entertainment something Moschetta says appeals to the people who live at Fox Run. The tour includes a drive around town, during which Moschetta points out the popular spots for dining and entertainment, and ends with a stop at Parmenter s Cider Mill for cider and donuts. People moving to Novi enjoy finding all the great shopping and the convenience of everything located so close to Fox Run, Moschetta says. But they really appreciate learning the significant history of the town they are moving to.