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 100 YEARS AGO--MARCH 1908-THE GREAT FLOOD

Morning Star, March 2, 2008, pg. 8

I have just returned from a fantastic week of scuba diving in Cozumel, Mexico, in what was a well-needed vacation. Dan Strowbridge of the Albion Public Safety Department was also part of our dive group, which was sponsored by Sub-Aquatic Sports in Battle Creek. There is still much evidence in Cozumel (both above and below the water) of a hurricane which struck that island a few years ago. Closer to home, it was 100 years ago this week that Albion experienced the greatest natural disaster in its history. Our theme this week is newspaper clippings from The Great Flood of 1908.

Week ending March 12, 1908. “Four Buildings Go to Ruin. Raging Floods Undermine Eight Stores in Albion. That the loss of real property in Albion as a result of the flood on Saturday night will reach the $100,000 mark is the opinion of those who have attempted to estimate our losses. Our city, which has withstood the worst that the Kalamazoo River could offer for the past 60 years, was at the mercy of the water Saturday night.”

“One of the narrow escapes from the falling buildings Saturday night was experienced by Tom McAuliffe. He was in the rear of the Deyoe store when the buildings fell and just reached the safety line when the front of the store fell onto the walk. Tom fell down just as he reached the edge of the walk and was pulled out from the falling brick.”

“The east bridge on E. Erie St. is not considered safe by the city authorities and all who cross this bridge do so at their own risk. A man is kept at the bridge and a close watch is being made of the bridge. In case any further damage is noticed the city will close it.” From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photo of the receding waters from the E. Erie St. bridge. The view looks northeast towards the Presbyterian Church which can be faintly seen in the distance between the two houses. Notice the ice chunks on the right, which were deposited there when the water went over the deck of the bridge.


The east bridge on E. Erie St.

Advertisement. “Fresh Bananas and Fruits. I lost my entire stock and fixtures in the flood and can assure you that my fruits are fresh. My present location is in the Lottie Eslow block on W. Porter St. [NOTE: This is the building that is located to the left of the Moose] where I will be glad to meet my friends. Bob Cascarelli, the Fruit Store Man.”

“Superior St. over the sunken bridge presents a busy scene. Bricks and rubbish are being hauled away and the last of the goods from the destroyed buildings are being carted out. Mr. Parker has a force of men tearing away the destroyed portions of his block and expects to rebuild at once. There has been no heat in the block since Saturday and the offices on the second floor are abandoned. A stove was put up in the post office and a temporary stove pipe run out of the window in lieu of the chimney.”

“Roy Bliss had a narrow escape Sunday night at the Billinghurst bridge west of the city. He was going after his boat which was moored near the bridge when the small boat he was in overturned and he was swept to the bridge. He managed to grab the edge of the bridge and it took four men to drag him from the water as his body was pulled under the floor of the bridge.”

“Frank Fields, colored, was arrested Tuesday on complaint of George Jones on a charge of stealing chickens. He plead “not guilty” before Justice McCutcheon and his trial was set for March 14.

Next: DRISCOLL’s MARKET

Next 100 Years Ago Article: April 1908

Read more Albion 100 Years Ago articles


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