Genoa Charter Township Hall History by Polly Skolarus, Township Clerk
Before there was the new Township Hall, the land belonged to the Herbst family. 45 acres were sold to the Township.
The Township hall sits on property that originally belonged to the Carl Christian Conrad family. It was first purchased from the United States Government in 1830. After the Civil War, there was no one left to farm the land, and it was purchased by John Schoenhals.
John had three daughters and one son. The son was named Oscar. Oscar married Lyle's father's sister Anna. In 1950, Anna bought the brick two-story home on ½ acre just east of the farm on Brighton Road for $10,000, and Lyle bought the 149-acre farm on Dorr and Crooked Lake for $15,000. The 2-story brick home on Brighton Road still stands today.
The land was farmed from 1950 until 1962 when the Michigan State Highway came through and condemned eight different parcels in the Township to construct Interstate 96. The State Highway Department gave the homesteaders 30 days to get out of their way. The Herbst family received $17,500 for their condemned 43.9 acres, which was then cut in half on a 45° angle.
The dairy business was no longer viable because there wasn't enough land close to the barn to take care of the cows; the barn was now on the north side of the expressway and the house was on the south side. That was when Mr. Herbst went into the beef business, purchasing cattle from Mr. Fisher of the General Motors Fisher Body family.