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, September 24, 2001, pg. 9

Coming up on Sunday, October 8 will be my annual guided tour of Riverside Cemetery. The tour will begin at the cemetery office at 1:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to all ages. Tour booklets will be available for a nominal fee; these programs will also be available at the Albion Chamber of Commerce. This year’s tour is entitled “The Magnificent View Tour of Riverside Cemetery,” as we walk along the top of the hill overlooking the beautiful Kalamazoo River along M-99.

The highlight of this year’s tour will be a rare visit inside the Munroe Mausoleum, the oldest existing structure in Riverside Cemetery. This impressive granite structure was erected in 1876 by Dr. Stephen Munroe (1813-1890), a physician who purchased the property of Jesse Crowell in 1872. Dr. Munroe lived in Crowell’s former house on E. Michigan Avenue upon which now sits Wesley Hall on the campus of Albion College.

Dr. Munroe came to Michigan in 1843. After receiving his medical degree, he practiced in Grand Haven from 1850 to 1857. He subsequently became involved in the lumbering business, which was quite a money-making trade in those days. Dr. Munroe moved to Albion, where his brother James Monroe (note, James changed the spelling of his surname) had operated Albion’s first industry and foundry.

Dr. Munroe also purchased Crowell’s property on the north end of Duck Lake, and subsequently developed that area into quite a settlement. It was Dr. Munroe who erected the small but quaint Duck Lake Schoolhouse on family property in 1883. This was a private school he had built so his nieces and nephews would not have to walk to the Hunt School which was quite a distance. A State of Michigan historical marker has been placed at the site, and it was dedicated this past June 3.

There are still descendants in the area today, most notably the Garfield family. We are looking forward to their hospitality on our cemetery tour as they swing open the doors to their family mausoleum for our tour group. From our Historical Notebook this week courtesy of the Garfield family we present a photograph of Dr. Stephen Munroe.

Dr. Stephen Munroe (1813-1890

Next: Albion 100 Years Ago - October 1901

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