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.

ALBION FAIRGROUNDS

Morning Star, September 8, 2002, pg. 19

I took my own advice from my April 21 article, and visited the “other Albion” in Michigan on vacation last week. It’s located on the north side of the city of Calumet in the Upper Peninsula. The centerpiece is the Albion Station--an older Interurban station that has been turned into a glass blowing shop operated by a former Albion College student, Richard Dana. It’s open daily between 9 and 4 and already several Albion people (from down here) have visited it this year. If you’re visiting the U.P. this place is a must to visit at 98 Rockland St., Calumet, MI 49913. (906) 337-1263.

Note: Set your calendars for Sunday, October 6 at 1:30 p.m. I’ll be conducting my annual Riverside Cemetery Tour. This year’s tour is entitled “The Other Pioneers of Albion Tour of Riverside Cemetery.” More about this later.

Albion once had its own fair and fairgrounds. The site was developed in 1892 on the William Hartung property along Haven Road and operated by the Albion Fair Grounds and Driving Association. The 27-acre piece of land contained a half-mile race track where horse and harness races were held during the 1890s to the 1910s. Our local fair was held annually in September of each year, at about the same time we hold our Festival of the Forks today. The fair contained all the agricultural displays, activities and awards one would expect at the County Fair, only it was attended primarily by our local area people.

One facility at the Albion Fairgrounds was a large grandstand where many activities were held. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of the Farmers Picnic of August 20, 1908 which shows hundreds of area farmers and their families at the grandstand. It must have been a hot day, as there are numerous umbrellas in the crowd. The men all wore suit coats and ties.

The concept of a local Albion fair ceased around 1910, and after that the grounds were used for harness racing for several years. The site later became part of the Haven Hills Dairy property. You can still see part of the outline of the old racetrack at the site today.


Albion Farmer's Picnic in 1908

Next: MAHER HOUSE ONCE STOOD ON PARKER INN SITE


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