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.

ST. JAMES CHURCH BELL

Morning Star, September 7, 2008, pg. 3

We now enter the busy fall season. My Riverside Cemetery Tour program will be held this year on Sunday, October 12 at 1:30 pm, and will begin at the Veteran’s Memorial on the south side of the cemetery. This year’s tour will feature the following persons: Philip Humphrey, Rev. Wesley Dissette, Hurley S. Austin, Carrie Twa, Harvey Sweet, Victor Coulson, William Leonard, Dwight Landon, Sr.; Jack Bedient, Raymond Gardner, James Shanley, Arthur Tuchtenhagen, Edwin Mounteer, William Williams, Gardner Lloyd, George Walkotten, Benjamin Brown, Audrey Wilder, Kirke White Comstock, Frank Darrow, Floyd Parks, George Caines, Ralph Brooks, Paul Rabakon, Titus Russell, Josiah Bean, and George Mitchell. Mark your calendars for this annual historical highlight.

Yours truly will be a my usual location in front of Citizen’s Bank with my Albion History Booth at the Festival of the Forks on Saturday, September 20. I’ll have my Albion history books and materials available. Be sure and stop by and see me, and also visit the Albion High School Alumni Association tent around the corner in the bank alley that day.

Anytime a bell is removed from a church is a monumental occasion--a heavy occasion, too, like say 1,200 pounds. It was on Thursday, August 14, 2008 that the bell from St. James’ Episcopal Church was lowered so the building could be demolished and a new structure erected. By the way, the final time the bell was run was officially rung was for the funeral of one of its long-time just-departed members, Keith Waito. It was rung 90 times in honor of his years of life.

Yours truly snapped this photograph for this week’s Historical Notebook of the bell just after it had been lowered. Are you wondering what the inscription said? Was it “Philadelphia, 1776?” No, but here’s what I wrote down: On the support metal: “H. McShane & Co. Balto, MD.” On the bell itself: “McShane Bell Foundry. Henry Mc Shane & Co. Baltimore, Md. 1886.”

We wish St. James’ Church all the best in its reconstruction and financing. This church has been a religious pillar in our community from the days that Tenney Peabody walked the streets of “the Forks” in the 1830s until the present time. Albion is a better place because of St. James Episcopal Church and what it has meant to our town.


The Bell from St. James’ Episcopal Church

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