The Grobbel Hof in Obringhausen, NRW, Germany
The Grobbel Hof is located on what used to be the ancestral Grobbel family farm, near the village of Obringhausen. The land and structures on it were inherited by successive generations of Grobbel family members from prior to 1398 until 1987. The portion of the house closest to the camera in the pictures above was built about 1729 to replace an older structure. The house was further enlarged in 1824 by Johannes Everhard and Maria Walburga (Eickhoff) Grobbel. The dormer and extension on the far front was added in 1987-88 by the current owners.
Johannes Everhard and Maria Walburga Grobbel's oldest son, Franz Joseph Grobbel (1814-1874) inherited the Grobbel Hof when Johannes died in 1851. Franz Joseph married Maria Walburga Henrichs in 1845 and two of their younger sons, Wilhelm Emil and Franz Joseph Grobbel, were born in this house in 1852 and 1856, respectively. Emil, as he was known, and his brother Joseph emigrated to Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. in the year 1879.
In 1883, Emil began selling a variety of meats from his stall at 1 Central Market in Detroit's old Cadillac Square Market. 120 years later, his business continues as E.W. Grobbel Sons, Inc., a wholesale producer of meat products that is located near Detroit's Eastern Market. Now operated by Emil's great grandson, Jason Grobbel, the company is "America's Oldest Corned Beef Specialist".
Johannes Everhard Grobbel also had three nephews who had emigrated earlier to Detroit in about the year 1849. Their names were Franz Anton, John and Daniel Grobbel and these brothers had been born in nearby Cobbenrode. All Grobbel families in Germany and the U.S.A. can trace their roots to Obringhausen. Click here for more information on the common ancestors of the Grobbel emigrants to the USA (as well as their descendants).
|Close up views of the Grobbel Hof - the names of Johannes Everhard and Maria Walburga Grobbel are engraved above the window to commemorate the 1824 addition (left); the original portion of the structure dates back to about 1729 (above).|
|A Gazebo that was built in the early 1970's overlooks meadowland that slopes down to the Wenne River.|
|The village of Obringhausen as seen from the southwest; the roof of the Grobbel Hof is visible off in the distance beyond and slightly above the village. The origins of the Grobbel surname come from two Low German words, ("Groite Boill" which roughly translates as "major bump"), that were used to identify the family based on the description of their farm's location on the hillside overlooking the village.|
|An aerial view of the village of Obringhausen. The Grobbel Hof is the cluster of buildings in the upper right next to a grove of trees. I took these two photos while riding in a plane piloted by Reinhard Grobbel of Oberlandenbeck, NRW, Germany.|
|A close-up aerial view of the Grobbel Hof, through the courtesy of Reinhard Grobbel.|
The Grobbel Hof as it Appeared Nearly 65 and 25 Years Ago
The Grobbel Hof as it appeared in about 1940. The barn in the front left of the picture burned to the ground during fighting in the first week of April 1945 as elements of the US Army's 7th Armored Division swept through this area . The bell that was housed in the tower on the barn survived the fire and it was installed in the bell tower of the Gazebo when it was built some 25 years later. The structure in the center is the main residence that was constructed in 1729. The structure to the rear housed animal stables and around 1970 a portion of it was converted into a "Ferienwohnung", which was a five-room "Bed & Breakfast" type rental for city-dwellers who wished to vacation on a working farm. (Photo courtesy of Mirjam Grobbel)
This aerial photo was taken around 1980 and it shows the new barn (lower left) that was built to replace the one that was burned in 1945 and the Gazebo that was built around 1970 (lower right). A duck pond with an overlooking patio has also been added to the property. To the rear (right of the green trees) is the old "backhaus", or baking house, where in the old days, bread was baked and summertime meals were cooked. By 1987, the ancient backhaus had not been used in more than 40 years and that was when the current owner tore it down and rebuilt it. (Photo courtesy of Mirjam Grobbel)
The Chapel in Obringhausen
residents of Obringhausen worship here on the feast day and other
special occasions when a priest comes to celebrate Mass.
Daily Mass, baptisms, marriages and funerals are held at the parish church in Wormbach.
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