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.


Morning Star, May 25, 2008, pg. 19

We hope you will be able to attend the special re-dedication of the Grand Army of the Republic lot in Riverside Cemetery on Monday as part of the Memorial Day parade. Numerous Decoration Day services were held at this site by Albion’s Civil War veterans through the years, before they gradually died off. The task of decorating the graves and remembering fallen comrades was handed over to the local American Legion Post in the 1930s, which continues the practice today along with the VFW and other organizations.

The local GAR was called the E.W. Hollingsworth Post No. 210, named after the first local officer to die after the War. Our local GAR met twice monthly above 317 S. Superior St. As its members became older, they complained about having to climb the long flight of stairs. So a fundraising campaign was held, and the GAR erected a building of their own in 1901-02 with first-floor headquarters. The new GAR Hall was located at 114 E. Erie St. It later became an annex for the Methodist Church and was demolished in 1960.

The GAR lot in Riverside Cemetery was donated to the Grand Army of the Republic in May, 1886 by the Hon. George Robertson. It contains space for around 20-25 graves. The large plaque which was recently refurbished contains the names of the members of the local Post.

The local Post had special brass flag holders made for the graves of its members. These are shaped like a 5-pointed star. In the center is the text, “DEPARTMENT of MICH. POST 210 GAR.” There is a star in each end point of the star. The initial “F” on top stands for Fraternity. “C” in the lower left signifies Charity. The “L” in the lower right means Loyalty. The upper left star point contains two crossed swords representing Cavalry, and in the upper right point is an anchor representing Sailors.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of this specialized flag holder, many of which still grace the graves of our Civil War veterans, and the new tombstones which have been installed on the GAR lot. The flag holders now have been placed at the side of the stones to help avoid an attack by a lawnmower.

GAR Star-shaped Flag Holder

GAR new tombstones (Photograph taken April 23, 2008)

Next: Albion 100 Years Ago - June 1908

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