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.

THOMSON’S FLOWERS

Morning Star, October 9, 2005, pg. 13

Albion has always seemed to appreciate the beauty of flowers which can be found in abundance throughout our community during the outdoor growing season. Albion has had several noted florists in its history which kept our residents supplied with colorful bouquets. This week we’d like to feature one floral business many of our readers might remember: Thomson’s Flowers. By the way, there is no letter “p” in their name.

Our story begins in 1901, when William (1859-1934) and Mary (Dean) Thomson came here from Dansville, where William had operated the Thomson & Son iron foundry that burned. William became employed at the Gale Manufacturing Company, and the family eventually settled at 324 W. Broadwell Avenue. William began growing flowers, and built a greenhouse behind the family home. They found that it was a profitable venture. The family rented a small storefront at 105 W. Porter St. in 1926. Their daughter Helen (1910-1992) became particularly talented in family business. At age 16 she would take pailfuls of flower bunches to the store and sell them “as is.” Cut flowers were sold at the Porter St. location, while bedding plants were sold at the greenhouse on Broadwell Avenue.

Following the death of William in 1934, the Porter St. location was closed and Mrs. Thomson continued the family business out of her home. It was called “Thomson’s Greenhouse.” “The dining room was the sales room, and there was an ice box for which the ice man brought huge blocks of ice every day,” states a family history.

Daughter Helen continued her role in the business, and married Frederick “Fritz” Nass (1908-1985) in 1934. Upon Fritz’s return from World War II, the couple purchased both the house and the business from other family members in 1946. Helen would do floral designing, while Fritz ran the day-to-day business operations. Thomson’s Flowers supplied flowers for events such as weddings, funerals, and banquets. By this time the ice-box had become outmoded, and the couple purchased a refrigerated walk-in flower cooler where flowers were stored.

Albion’s most prosperous period in its history was the post-World War II boom of the 1950s. Helen and Fritz purchased the building at 112 E. Erie St. in 1952, next to the big Methodist Church. Thomson’s Flowers (the new name) had its big grand opening there in 1952.

Helen and Fritz operated the business until their retirement in 1973. At that time they sold the business to their daughter Judy, a long-time employee. She continued it until 1980, when it was sold to out-of-towners Daniel and Dorothy Wright. They operated the business for two more years, until it was closed in 1982.

From our this week we present a 1952 Grand Opening photograph of the Thomson’s Flowers storefront on E. Erie St. How many of our readers purchased flowers from this business? Ah, notice the two parking meters in front, a reminder of the days when downtown parking had to be regulated in order to accommodate the steady flow of customers in our bustling city. Special thanks to Kathy (Nass) Remus and Judy (Nass) Gonzalez for supplying information for this week’s article.


Thomson's Flowers storefront in 1952


Mrs. Helen Nass in the shop in 1952

Next: DALRYMPLE SCHOOL 1954 AID PACKAGE TO GREECE


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