After Several Collisions, Allegan County Residents Are Worried For This Local Landmark
Having grown up in Allegan and Allegan County, this old stone building has fascinated me ever since I was a kid.
It's lived rent-free in my head all these years for several reasons, mainly because you don't see too many all-stone houses or buildings around these parts. It's also a fairly small structure which begs the question: what was it originally used for?
Thankfully, those all-knowing Facebook groups came to the rescue! This time it was Great Lakes Rock and Minerals member Jess Weick who shared,
I grew up down the road from this building and sad to see it in this condition. We called it Knobloch’s Corner. My dad says it used to be a gas station back in the day. Apparently a camper truck hit it recently but this poor structure has been hit by cars several times over the years. (it is on the corner of a busy intersection in the country).
As a kid I had always imagined the building was hiding something boring like a water pump or some sort of mechanics, but the building located on the corner of 30th Street (A-37) and 128th (Hopkins Road) in Allegan County did in fact originally start as a gas station.
Referred to as 'Knobloch Corners' members of the Facebook group Allegan County Pictures in History recall that the structure originally started as a wooden out-building that was located a half mile west of where the stone building sits now.
[the] building was put on skids and pulled by a team of horses to its current location...The person actually sat on the peak of the building to drive the horses...Pete McNab from Monterey did all the stone work for this gas station as well as other buildings in the area
As the story goes, brothers Levi and Julius Knobloch built the gas station for their diabetic brother Herman. Because of his disease Herman was unable to put in long hard hours on the family farm, so his brothers gave him this gas station as a way to earn a living.
Unfortunately, Herman passed away five weeks after the gas station opened.
Levi and Julius were too busy with the farm to run the gas station, so once relative Merlin Knobloch was discharged from the Army he and his family moved in and occupied the building until the mid-'50s. I can't imagine it's very spacious inside! Fellow relatives occupied the home throughout the years but as the quarters are quite confined it was soon abandoned and has sat vacant all these years later.
As the building is located near a busy intersection it's taken a few hits--literally-- over time and locals can't help but wonder what its fate will be? My vote is to move it to the historic village at the Allegan County Fairgrounds!
- "I would love to see it stay there. As many have already said it needs a barrier.I hate to see a piece of history torn down. We have lost so many" - Connie Moon
- "It's no longer owned by the Knobloch family. It was sold to Krumm Farms.There are a lot of comments from people wanting it repaired." - Linda Knobloch Spreitzer
- "My in-laws lived in that stone building for around 6 months when they were first married. Now they live on the opposite corner of the intersection. The amount of times that building has been hit is insane." - Kristina Coffey
- "I have been watching that precious relic, hoping someone would find the funds and wherewithal to repair it" - Holly Shashaguay