Kochville Hall History 1984-2005
In 1984, Elmer Lange, a Kochville resident since 1963, petitioned Kochville Township officials to give him what was now called the Old Kochville Township Hall instead of using township funds to demolish it. Elmers vision was to preserve the historic nature of the Kochville Hall for the community to enjoy as well as create a meeting place for his blended family of 7 children and 14 grandchildren. Kochville Township officials balked at his request and instead voted to accept public bids to purchase the Kochville Township Hall with the stipulation that it must be moved from its location at the corner of Mackinaw and Kochville. Elmer submitted the only bid for $110.
On August 2, 1984, the Kochville Township Hall was moved one quarter mile to Elmers farm by Carl J. Laracey and Sons House movers. Elmer immediately began restoration of the poorly maintained building by painting the exterior, recovering the roof and adding a much needed addition with an adequate heating system along with kitchen and bathroom facilities. The Kochville Hall re-opened in 1985 following a $20,000 investment in renovation and addition.
Elmer was a charter member of the Kochville Lions Club and gave the organization a lifetime lease to the property as its permanent meeting hall. Elmer also chose to preserve the agricultural history of the area by collecting rare antique farm implements to display in the Kochville Hall. On August 4, 1990, the Kochville Township Community Park was renamed the Elmer Lange Community Park in honor of Langes long history of community involvement and philanthropy. When Elmer died in April 2000, his will provisioned that his entire estate of over $750,000 become property of Lutheran Social Services of Michigan to support less fortunate families.
In 2001, Elmers grandson, Scott Lange purchased the Lange family farm and the Kochville Township Hall and continues to preserve it. In 2004, the Kochville Township Hall was submitted to the National Register of Historic Places for consideration. In 2004, Kochville Township officials used State of Michigan grant funding to purchase 35 acres of the Elmer Lange farm to expand Elmer Lange Community Park to be 45 acres of community recreational area. The Kochville Township Hall now borders the expanded Elmer Lange Community Park. Scott added modern conveniences like a paved parking lot, billiards, sound system and big screen cable television.
In 2005, Scott created a business plan for the Kochville Hall as the final requirement of his CMU Masters degree and secured the DBA name The Kochville Hall and Banquet Center. In 2005, the Kochville Hall underwent a facelift with complete interior painting, hardwood floor restoration and the addition of a fully functional antique bar.