History of Chase Farms

Novi, Michigan

Origin – 1826
Chase Farms enjoys a rich history dating back to April 20, 1826, when William Yerkes arrived in Detroit. After scouting the region, he elected to stay permanently in the area and sent for his family to join him. They selected a homestead near the northeast corner of what is now know as Eight Mile road and Griswold. His father Joseph, a soldier during the Revolutionary War, chose 488 acres to the south and other family members settled 240 acres near present-day Napier and Eight Mile, while still others opted for city life in nearby Northville.

In 1922, George B. Yerkes, a blood relation of William Yerkes and former Prosecuting Attorney for Wayne County, purchased the property. Upon his death, the parcel was handed down to George’s son, Robert. In 1937, William Chase and his wife Pearl, who were the inventors of Shatterproof Glass, fell in love with the main house and bought it, as well as the farm and all the land for $38,000.  Mr. Chase slept in the home in a sleeping bag for one night prior to his purchase, to ensure that the area wasn’t too noisy.

1937 – 1960
Mr. Chase farmed the land from 1937 to 1960. He had a large herd of cattle and a sizeable apple orchard. He erected a large barn in which to store the corn and hay he grew for the cattle. Mr. Chase also processed maple syrup from the maple trees on the property.

Everything north of Base Line Road was Novi Township. Much to Mr. Chase’s disappointment Eight Mile Road was cut through the farm in 1959. Griswold to Base Line was the William Chase property on which his home was located. When he retired from farming in 1960, he decided to lease the land.

1970 – 1989
In 1970, Mr. Chase married his second wife Georgianna, with whom he enjoyed many a Sunday skeet shooting and pheasant and partridge hunting on the property. William Chase died in 1985; subsequently the house was sold to Larry Bennett in May of 1989.

1990 & Onward
The development of the Chase Farms subdivision began in 1990.  It is nestled amongst the rolling hills, trees and meadows that attracted the original settler, William Yerkes to this area.


Mrs. William Chase and Clinton Colbert, a long-time friend and employee of Mr. and Mrs. Chase, subsequently visited the Chase Farms subdivision as guests of one of the builders, Superb Homes Inc..  They were pleased to see that the community still retains the value, quality and beauty that was so important to the Chase Family for so many years.   We appreciate the time they spent providing this information and adding to the lore and rich heritage of Chase Farms.

Adapted from the Superb Homes, Inc. Sales Brochure