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 MEAT LOCKER BUILDING

Morning Star, August 12, 2007, pg. 6

It just sits there, with the front area providing convenient overflow parking for Citizens Bank customers, although Citizens doesn’t own it. It is the Albion Meat Locker building located in the Market Place.

This functionally obsolete structure was once the site of much activity through the years. This brick edifice was erected in 1916 to become the new home of the Maple City Dairy Company which opened here in December, 1916. The Dairy ceased operations in September, 1944, at which time the building was rented to Service Caster & Truck Corporation as a storage facility.

In 1948, Joseph Doering purchased the building and opened the Albion Frozen Food Locker Company. Most Albion residents remember this as the Albion Meat Locker Plant. Back in the early days of electric refrigeration, owning a freezer was luxury. So people would rent a frozen locker here, and store their meat in their own rented compartment until such time they needed it. They could also have the firm cut up meat or game into various cuts and store it here, too. Home refrigerators with freezer compartments eventually made the meat locker phenomenon obsolete, except for large quantities of meat.

The business later became known as the Albion Meat Locker, and continued until it was closed over a year ago. The Albion Meat Locker was the last of the neighborhood grocery stores or meat markets in Albion. It became obsolete by modern-day buying patterns, convenience stores, limited parking, and lack of handicap accessibility.

Although the building just sits there nowadays, you might be wondering who will claim its potential parking spaces and tear the building down? There is definitely a pro-business potential to help downtown Albion here by providing badly needed close parking spaces for nearby establishments.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a postcard photograph of the Maple City Dairy Company building as it appeared on June 24, 1920. Notice the steps on the right side of the building, and the additional attached structures on the right.


The Maple City Dairy Company Building, 1920

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