Livonia’s History

potawatomi
Potawatomi tribe dancing.

Livonia was established on March 17th, 1835. Originally, the land belonged to the Potawatami Indians. Settlers from New England and New York came to the rich lands and gave it the name Livonia, which is also the name of a region in the Baltic that now includes Estonia and Latvia. There are also two other cities in the United States that share the name Livonia (New York and Pennsylvania). The city earned it’s Baltic name because many of the settlers that came from the East originally came from Eastern Europe.

Livonia was has rich soil, which makes it the perfect grounds for farming. It was also used for herding cattle and sheep, until the town was introduced to the motor industry. It wasn’t until the 1940s that General Motors built a plant in Livonia, and the industrial revolution of the township took place. By 1950, business was booming and enough people resided within the township to petition becoming a city. Livonia Township became a city in 1950, and just celebrated it’s 65th birthday.

The preservation of Livonia’s history has been left in the hands of the Livonia Historical Society, a local alexanderblueorganization under the Historical Society of Michigan. They operate Greenmead, a part of Livonia untouched by modernity. Greenmead was once farming land, and is now a historical site that preserves several original structures that would have otherwise been demolished. The structures are several houses and a church; several times a year, Greenmead hosts informational festivals that inform children and the citizens of Livonia on the city’s past.

Along with preserving Michigan’s history, the city of Livonia works towards preserving culture. The Livonia Symphony Orchestra has been around for 41 years, and is currently under the direction of Volodymyr Shesiuk. The orchestra plays Broadway hits as well as classical music, and consists of volunteers. Trinity House, a theater located on the site of one of Livonia’s historical graveyards, is a small theater that hosts local bands/open mic nights/ and small plays in order to bring culture to the people of Livonia.