143 Year Old Strobel Home, from Hotel to Funeral Home to Today
It's time for another Bell Buckle history lesson! This beautiful place is now the Strobel Home, but has quite a history as being other things.
Built in 1879, this place had 22 rooms and was known as the Lynch Hotel. Its location close to the railroad depot made it the perfect place for a weary passenger to lay their head. I noted some Bell Buckle residents listing this hotel as their place of residence in the Census so this may have also catered to long-term boarders as well.
In 1936, Albert M. Hoover launched out on his own in the funeral business in this hotel. The space doubled as both his residence and business. While most funerals were held at churches and cemeteries (and even homes), they would sometimes request to have them at the Hoover Funeral Home. Albert and family would clear their living room to make space to hold a funeral. Mr. Hoover's daughter Irene remembered as a child when bodies would need to be stored in her bedroom so she would sleep upstairs instead.
After Albert Hoover's death, it came into the hands of one of Bell Buckle's mayors, Eugene Strobel. It has remained a private residence in the Strobel family ever since.
I spoke with Mrs. Strobel one day and she told me that when they received the home, the horse-drawn hearse was still in the barn behind the house! They had hoped to buy it as a keepsake to accompany their home, but it had already been promised elsewhere. To my surprise, I recently located the A. M. Hoover horse-drawn hearse at the Lynchburg Funeral Home in Lynchburg!
Also check out the pictures of the old brick kitchen and the cook's cottage.
If you get a chance to visit our tiny town, be sure to look for the old hotel/funeral home located beside the post office and appreciate all the parts this home played in Bell Buckle's past.