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.


Morning Star, December 18, 2005, pg. 6

Congratulations to Barbara & Cy Pombier and Judy & Bud Rogers for the publication of their new book “The Springport Connection.” This massive 792-page book is a compilation of genealogies of approximately 100-plus families of the greater Springport area. There is lots of “Albion overflow” in this book, which is destined to become a standard genealogical resource for years to come. Copies are available at the Springport telephone office. For more information, call Barb or Cy at (517) 782-6090.

The 1970s was certainly a time of change. This was especially true in downtown Albion. These were the final years for several long-established department stores and national firms we had grown up with. By time the 1980s arrived, several major businesses closed and Albion residents were instructed to go to “their store” in Jackson at Paka Plaza or Westwood Mall. Remember such places like Sears, Montgomery Ward, McClellen’s, Murphy’s, Gambles, Consumer’s Power Company, Western Auto, J.C. Penney, AAA Insurance, Southeastern Michigan Gas Company, and others that used to be in downtown Albion?

Despite the changing business climate, Albion citizens continued their holiday traditions as much as possible. One clever marketing approach was tried to help boost local downtown businesses during the Christmas season. Santa Claus was let out of his house and was allowed to mingle with downtown Albion shoppers. During the month of December, 1972, Santa walked up and down the streets of downtown Albion, visiting numerous stores between the hours of 2 to 4, and 6 to 8 pm. (Note: Santa had to eat in between those times so he would be plump enough for his annual one-night around-the-world excursion). He also carried a big sack of candy with him to pass out to children during his visits. That year local merchants also conducted a fund-raising campaign to raise money for new Christmas decorations to hang on the poles and lights the following year.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present Santa Claus, standing in the middle of a slushy S. Superior St., waving to his fans in December, 1972. How many of our readers plan on shopping in downtown Albion this Christmas season? Start from one end and walk to the other, and look in the windows of those merchants who are open. You’ll find some very specialized stuff that would make great gifts. Be sure and include the Albion Chamber of Commerce on your route. They’ve got my Albion history books and materials, including my Riverside Cemetery tour booklets which are great stocking stuffers for placing on the coffee table to read while waiting for Christmas dinner. Merry Christmas everyone! (Note: For the record, Santa Claus was played by Richard Crawford in this week’s photo, a member of the Albion High School Class of 1971).

Santa Claus on Superior Street in 1972


Back to the Top of this Page

All text copyright, 2020 © 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.

AlbionDesign.com Communications Specialists Since 1981

AlbionMich.net Arts, Outdoors and Education