Livonia Religious Society of Friends Meeting House
Beginning in 1797, several Friends migrated west from New York to the Livonia-Farmington area. Friends in this area were of the more liberal group known as Hicksite that stressed God was in everyone (or the inner light). In 1833-1834, a local meeting was formed as the Nankin Meeting and then renamed the Plymouth Meeting. Finally, in 1835, the name was changed to the Livonia Meeting.
In 1827, Daniel and David Lapham purchased property near the intersection of Farmington and Seven Mile Road and a portion was set aside for a meeting house and burial grounds for the Friends. In 1846, the building, now at Greenmead, was erected on the site and served as the meeting house for a very short time with the last meeting held in 1853.
The meeting house was built in traditional Friends' style with a double meeting room, the left side for women and the right side for men. It had a broad gallery across the front of the room with a raised platform for the elders and perhaps a desk for the clerk to use during meetings for church affairs. Wooden benches were arranged in rows. The building had a stone cellar which was possibly used for the Underground Railway. The Livonia Meeting House is the oldest existing Friends Meeting House in Michigan.
In 1860, after the meeting was disbanded, the property and building became a home to four families in succession. The building served as the city historical museum from 1975 to 1977. The house and land were used as a museum site for several preserved Livonia buildings known as Quaker Acres Historical Village. The site eventually held the Shaw house, Geer Store, and the DUR waiting room in addition to the Quaker meeting house. In 1981, after the city acquired Greenmead, the meeting house was moved to Greenmead.