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.

AUSTIN AVE ONCE LINED WTIH COMPANY HOUSING

Morning Star, April 19, 2009, pg. 16

You might have noticed that during the N. Clinton St. bridge replacement that Albion’s fire trucks are being temporarily stored in the old Harvard Industries trucking fleet facility building at 923 Austin Avenue. The stretch of land leading up to there is pretty bare today, but it didn’t used to be.

In the early 20th century, the 800 and 900 blocks of the south side of Austin Avenue were once lined with “company housing” for workers at the Albion Malleable Iron Company. Many of these were Russian immigrants and other nationalities who were recruited from 1900 up to World War I to work at the Malleable.

The 1913 Albion City Directory lists these house numbers and occupants along the south side of Austin Avenue in this area: 897-John Vasek; 899 Tony Staski; 901-Vacant; 903-John Kuba; 905-Joseph Kowalski; 907-S. Voychak (1917); 911-William Skalski; 913-Joseph Lescoviak and Leon Saginski; 915-Cyril Rock; 917-Harry Hendricks.

Furthermore, the spot where McAuliffe Park now sits contained even more company houses, in the area known as “Factory Place” just north of the plant. There were over 20 homes in this section. Here is a listing from the 1913 directory as printed of those who lived there with the house numbers. I’ve not corrected the spellings on purpose--see if you can recognize how these surnames are spelled today. 1. Joseph Shelongevitz; 2. Mrs. Helen Ignatius; 3. Joseph Dimagio; 4. John Kihta; 5. Frank Missa; 6. Samuel Gelese; 7. Joseph Shetoski; 11. Robert Missa; 12. John Scalchi. 13. Fred Damski. 14. Dominic Evalo. 15. Joseph Bowinto; 16. Joseph Giluso. 17. Mrs. E. Sowchuk (1917); 21. Alex Ignachak. 22. John Mishka. 22. Michael Stachuk. 23. Ellia Apostoloff. 24. Alex Dimatrok. 25. Michael Dubino. 26. John Shigeski.

From our Historical Notebook is a look at the company housing in the 800 block of the south side Austin Avenue. This is excerpted from the April 30, 1916 panoramic photo of the groundbreaking ceremony of the Holy Ascension Orthodox Church, located at 810 Austin Avenue. How many of our readers remember “company housing” along this now lonely stretch of Austin Avenue?


The 800 Block of the South Side of Austin Avenue on April 30, 1916

Next: ALBION 100 YEARS AGO--MAY 1909


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