Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, August 27, 2000 pg. 5.

Itís nice to see that the city is diligently working on resurfacing some of our major streets this year. Having good roads is one positive attribute of any community. We also hope that any predesignated funds allotted to finally reopen that one block of Huron St. (now that Union Steel has been torn down), closed since the 1960s, will be spent according to plans. Voice your concerns to your city council person in order to help get this accomplished.

One street that will see repairs this year will be Hannah Street, (originally called Hannahsí Street) which was named after the Hannahs family that lived nearby. The street is a vital, main north-south artery which helps move traffic smoothly from one side of the city to the other. It also cuts through the center of the Albion College campus. This helps keep the college from being isolated from the rest of the community by allowing local residents to drive by and observe what is happening.

Marvin Hannahs (1796-1876), his son George (1823-1906), and family came to "the Forks" in 1834. Their home was at 910 Haven Road, which is the big white house just left (east) of Bellemont Manor. Marvin was a tanner and operated his tannery in a brick structure behind his home. Son George later erected a home of his own at 500 E. Erie St. The duo erected the "Hannahs Block" on the southwest corner of Superior and W. Center Sts. which stood in the 19th century.

The Hannahs opened Albionís first bank in 1853, known as the Hannahsí Exchange and Banking Office. First located in their downtown tannery building, they built a new bank building at 304 S. Superior St. It was later purchased by the bookkeeper of the bank, James W. Sheldon who operated it until his death in 1894. It then became the Albion State Bank which operated until the end of 1931. The building is still standing today.

George Hannahs was the first president of the Village of Albion from 1855 to 1857, and was the first foreman of our first fire department, "The Alert." He moved to South Haven in 1864 where he became a leading citizen there, establishing lumber business, and serving as that communityís first village president in 1875-77. He served in the Michigan State Legislature 1871-72, representing Van Buren County. George moved to San Diego, California in his retirement, and died there in 1906. From our Historical Notebook we present a photograph of George Hannahs.

Many persons have wished they could get their hands on back articles of the Historical Notebook. Thanks to Maggie LaNoue, and Robin James, this is now being made possible via the Albion Home Page on the internet. There also is a gallery of photographs you can go to, and the photos are BIG in size. In addition, there is a section about my Albion history books you can also choose. We are adding more past articles to our site as quickly as we can get them on the computer.

E-mail your friends across the country about this site. While youíre on the Albion, Michigan home page, be sure to sign the Albion Guestbook. Letís promote our community!

George Hannahs


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