Before settlers came to Richland, Pottawatomie Indians lived on the eastern edge of Gull Prairie, and two major Indian trails traversed the prairie past the present day Blackhawk Bar & Grill. In the parking lot you will find one of the Indian burial mounds that has survived to this day.
Colonel Isaac Barnes first settled the Richland area in 1830; he constructed a crude log cabin a the site of the present day Blackhawk Bar & Grill and Surveyed a 2,000 acre parcel that became known as Gull Prairie. Col. Barnes' dream was to build a city on the property and call in Geloster in honor of his three sons: George, Carlos, and Lester. Soon the log cabin became a trading post for Indians coming south to trade furs.
Over the years, Col. Barnes served as a justice of the peace, a probate judge, a postmaster (according to some reports Geloster was the first post office in Kalamazoo County) and the first supervisor of Richland. In the early 1830's, Col. Barnes raised a battalion of volunteers to fight in the Blackhawk wars, training and drilling the unit on the present site of the Blackhawk Bar & Grill. Despite these accomplishments, Barnes was disappointed that Geloster did not develop into a community, and he moved to Allegan County in 1841.
Over the years, the farm founded by Col. Barnes prospered and the log cabin became a beautiful multi-storied dwelling with porches, large fireplaces, and a fine barn. At various times the home was known as the Old Stagecoach Stop (for the line running between Detroit and Chicago), the Old Tavern Farm and Gull Corners (now known as Richland) Post Office.
The home was owned by various families down through the years, including the Pecks, the Hoggs, and the Vanderlics, and was the scene of many interesting events, including weddings, reunions, and an early meeting of the Michigan Chapter of the Odd Fellows Society. There are even rumors of a friendly ghost that likes to sit by the fireplace on the upper floor of the building.
As originally built, the house faced Territorial Road, an old Indian trail and a major link between Detroit and Chicago (now C Avenue, a quiet country road), but in the 1930's the house was rotated 90 degrees to face M-89, which had become the dominate route of travel.
In the early 1970's the home burned down, but was purchased and rebuilt by Alice Tigchelaar to resemble the original beautiful and historical home. Alice and her successor successfully operated the Stagecoach Inn, which included the famous Colonel Barnes Room and the Silver Dollar Bar, for over 30 years, but the property fell on hard times in early 2001 and was closed.
Kelknight purchased the home and barn in 2003, and gave it new life as the Blackhawk Bar & Grill and the Stagecoach Barn. We hope to provide you with excellent food, fine drink, and warm hospitality in keeping with the long tradition of the Stagecoach Inn/Blackhawk Bar & Grill. Thanks for visiting and come again soon!
Duane and Kim Knight
John and Janet Kelly