Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
August 15, 2010, pg. 3
The tragic oil rupture situation in Marshall had me thinking: Could something like that happen here in Albion? My thoughts go back to 1978 when it was discovered that two active shallow "grandfathered oil well pipelines went across the Kalamazoo River millpond west of Barnes Park. This was discovered when the city was preparing to dredge the millpond. Because of those two oil pipelines, the dredging project couldn‘t dredge the pond all the way back to "Dunk‘s Cove" like it should have. I wonder if those oil pipes are still there in the River? It would be interesting to know. Now years later the silt there has come down and filled in the pond again. This silt also helped fill in the Rieger Park pond.
The millpond has been there many years, back to when Albion‘s pioneers utilized the waters of the Kalamazoo River to power grist and sawmills. At the turn of the century electric power was added. Around 1948 Consumers Power stopped the water-powered plant here, and turned some of the property over to the City of Albion, now the site of Rieger Park.
In the 1960s the Homer Dam was let out, and much silt flowed down to our millpond. The dredging project here took two years, 1978 and 1979, and was contracted by the Mead Brothers of Springport. The millpond was dredged to six feet deep, with some sections at eight feet.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a 1978 photo of the dredging equipment. The egg-shaped flotation devices in the distance held the vacuum pipe that led to a receiving pond where the silt was thereby deposited. How many of our readers remember this dredging project?
1978 River Dredging
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All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic