Surviving Two Major Fires, Gobles Hangs On in Western Michigan
Gobles, originally named Gobleville, is a kinda cool but kinda sad place to visit. Cool because it's been around since 1864. Sad because many of the original, great old buildings burned down in a 2012 fire.
Kiddle says in 1864, John Goble arrived and immediately set upon erecting a hotel. Oh, but he wasn't the only Goble around. Hiram Goble blueprinted a plat in 1870 and Warren Goble made an addition in 1872.
The Michigan Central Railroad came through and a depot was constructed. Also, a post office began operations in 1872. Since it was basically the Goble guys that started the ball rolling, it seemed fitting to name this new town after them...and 'Gobleville' it was.
1893: Incorporated as a village.
1922: Town name changed to 'Gobles' on April 10.
1957: Incorporated as a city.
Rag men were plentiful over 100 years ago. We would call them 'junk dealers' today. They would pick up unwanted items that people threw out and re-sell them. One such man was from Gobleville, a Mr. Canfield, shown in the gallery below as a 'rubber and rag' man on a horse-drawn wagon sometime around 1910. It made me curious as to who this man actually was. There was an Andy Canfield, Dell Canfield, and Paul Canfield, that lived in Gobleville back then. Was he one of them?
Gobles had a big downtown fire in the early 1900s (pictured in the gallery below) but it was on April 6, 2012, that another downtown blaze swept the city blocks and eradicated almost all of the original late 1800s buildings.
Next time you're in the Pine Grove Township area of Van Buren County, stop at Gobles and spend a little time lookin' around! Visit one of their 'mom & pop' shops!
GOBLEVILLE (GOBLES) GALLERY