Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

Return to the Frank Passic
Home Page  

Return to the Albion Michigan Home Page

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

BABCOCK SCHOOL

Morning Star, June 19, 2005, pg. 3

There has been an increased interest in recent months concerning the histories of the rural country schoolhouses which were in operation in our county until they were closed by the mid-1960s. Here in the Albion area, the following country schools were annexed into the Albion Public Schools: Anthony, Babcock, Bath Mills, Billinghurst, Gay, Holmes, Howell, Snyder, Tamarack, Warner, and Wright. Wright School along M-99 and Comdon Road by the way, is being offered by Parma Township for anyone who wants to move it--or else this historical schoolhouse will be demolished. Apparently July is the deadline. Yours truly was a part of the State of Michigan historical marker dedication in front of this schoolhouse when it was dedicated.

This past week, the former Houston Schoolhouse in Fredonia Township was moved to the Calhoun County Fairgrounds. It has been placed in the southwest corner of the fairgrounds where it will be turned into a country school museum to typify the rural school experience in our county in the 1940s and 1950s. It is hoped that the structure will be ready by fair time August 14-20. The Fair is now accepting donations of country school memorabilia, whether it be books, furniture, photographs, bells, report cards, or other items. For more information, call the coordinator of the project, Ann Case, at (269) 781-3442, or e-mail her at: schoolhouseproject@yahoo.com, or call the Calhoun County Fair office at: (269) 781-8161.

One item that recently surfaced at a garage sale here in Albion and was donated to the Fair was a desk that was used at the Babcock School southwest of town up until the time the school was closed in June, 1965. The chairs were constructed attached to the desk by a center piece of metal on the floor. There is an indentation on the top of the desk to place pencils, and of course the desk lid opens up to place books and other materials.

The Babcock School (Albion No. 5) was named after Amos A. Babcock (1803-1893), a farmer and carpenter who built the first home in the area. The settlement of Babcock southwest of Albion bears his name today. A school existed here beginning in 1838. Eventually a brick schoolhouse was built, and an addition was built in 1949. Classes were taught through the eight grade through the end of the 1940s, at which time it was changed through the sixth grade.

The Babcock School was one of the first rural districts to annex into the Albion Public Schools. The merger was approved by voters there in March, 1965, and the school closed in June, 1965. The desks at Babcock were transferred to Dalrymple Elementary School in Albion where they were used for several more years. Some of these were sold to the public after Dalrymple closed, including the desk that was recently donated to the Fair.

The rural schoolhouses, including Babcock, were more than just places to send children to school. They were community centers which provided a sense of identity and belonging. There were community meetings, church services, potluck dinners, singing classes, reunions, 4-H Club meetings, women’s club meetings, and other events held at the rural schoolhouses.


1955 Babcock 4-H Float at the Calhoun County Fair

Next: VICTORY PARK SWIMMING POOL


Back to the Top of this Page

All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic

Did you enjoy this page?

If you've enjoyed learning about Albion history from this site, please write us a note in the Albion Guestbook. We hope you will take the time to share your interest and stories related to Albion history, especially if you have any ancestors from Albion, please let us know.

Learn more about Albion Michigan!
Visit the Albion home page.

Search the AlbionMich.com website

Albion History Articles

Historical Notebook  |  From the Archives  |  Subject List  |  100 Years Ago


Kept current by: Robin James

Indices Unlimited Indexing Services


And now a word from our sponsors

See prints of Albion Michigan , by Maggie LaNoue, the owner of the Albion Home Page.

Help to sponsor these web pages and this site.

Albion Design and Carlson Craft have worked together to offer an amazing selection of wedding invitations online. From invites, to rsvps, gifts and more, Carlson Craft has an outstanding 60 year history of creating wedding stationery packages designed to the personal tastes of each bride and groom. With their easy online ordering service and quick turn around, you will appreciate the ease of ordering and the prices also! You can order a sample card of any invitation to see the quality, and proof the wording of the invitations online.
View wedding invitations online: Design.carlsoncraft.com

wedding invitations michigan