Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, March 26, 2000 pg. 17
Dalrymple School was named for Charles Wylie Dalrymple (1838-1907), who was the longest serving member of the Albion School Board, 39 years total. His home was on Pearl Street, and he owned nearly all the land which makes up the former school property today. In April 1916, the school board purchased a large tract of land for $8,000 from Hattie (Dalrymple) Day, daughter of the late Mr. Dalrymple. The sale was not without controversy, however. The February 9, 1916 board minutes record that "Whereas, the board has been unable to agree with the owner of the Dalrymple property so called and designated by us for a school site and Whereas, we deem the price asked by the owner of such property to be excessive; therefore, Be it Resolved, that we instruct (name of attorney) to offer (name of owner) four thousand dollars, and if rejected, to begin and prosecute condemnation proceedings and to apply to the Circuit Judge of this County for a jury to ascertain and determine the just compensation to be made to the owner or owners of the real estate heretofore designated by us for a school site."
Construction on the two story brick schoolhouse began in September 1916, with Frederick W. Schumacher as the contractor. The total cost of erecting the original school was $50,000. Because of delays, construction was not completed until late 1917, and the school did not open its doors to students until January 2, 1918.
The Dalrymple School property contained a swampy area through which the historic "black ditch" flowed. This was remedied by the board action of January 15, 1917 which stated, "The building and grounds committee met and opened bids on hauling cinders and refuse from the Malleable to the Dalrymple School grounds." As one who attended Dalrymple School as a child beginning in 1958, yours truly remembers fill "dirt" being trucked in on occasion to the southern portion of the school grounds. There even was a large brush pile that we used to play in, filled with interesting tunnels and caverns. How many of our other schools in town are near or on the sites of former dumps?
With the local population boom following World War II, Albion taxpayers (only those who owned property in those days) passed a $350,000 bond issue on April 20, 1950 which included funding the construction of an addition to the original Dalrymple School building for $268,500. The architect was the Warren S. Holmes Company of Lansing. The Dalrymple School addition was completed and opened on April 8, 1952. It contained six new classrooms, a gymnasium-auditorium, a kitchen, and a new heating plant.
Dalrymple School was closed in June, 1982 and was boarded up. There was a controversial sale of the property in 1993 and removal of a portion of the nearby Dalrymple Woods in 1996. A local committee has just been formed to explore the future of this property for community use. Perhaps one day area children may again slide down the slide, swing on the swingset, and slide down the Dalrymple Woods hill with their sleds, as they used to do from 1918 to 1982.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of Dalrymple School.
All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic