Demolition of old Clark Equipment is end of era in Buchanan
Posted: Mar 2, 2012 10:17 PM EST | Updated: Nov 5, 2014 7:47 PM EST
BUCHANAN, Mich. – Its end of an era in Berrien County. The last Clark Equipment Building was being torn down Friday on River Street.
In its heyday, Clark Equipment was one of Berrien County’s major employers.
In seven days all that will be left on the site is a pile of metal and concrete. “It’ll be a big difference once it’s down,” said Chad Medlin with Randy’s Metal Recycling in Eau Claire.
Medlin said the job is one of the stranger he has worked. Dozens are coming to watch the demolition. “I had a gentleman stop by yesterday just balling,” he said. “I took him for a tour and he was just crying because of so many memories.”
65-year-old Danny Cronin is one of the spectators. “I spent a lot of time here,” he said. Buchanan born-and-raised, Cronin worked at Clark in the 1960’s and 1970’s alongside a major portion of the population in town. “I would say just in the Clark plant (there were 4,000 employees) and just in the city of Buchanan it wasn’t quite that same population.”
Clark had a rich history in Buchanan and employed generations of people. In 1917 the first internal-combustion truck ever made was built at Clark in Buchanan. From there the company grew into a worldwide supplier of truck parts. Next to Whirlpool, Clark Equipment was a major employer in the county.
Ultimately Clark left its home town and became Buchanan Industries. This coming week, the last of what’s left in that history is about to disappear.
The owner of the property told ABC 57 News in January that he hopes new employers fill the space and employees will work on the property again.