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.

CONSUMERís POWER OFFICE BUILDING WAS ONCE INTERURBAN PASSENGER STATION

Morning Star, December 5, 2010, pg. 8

Thereís still time to purchase one of my Albion history books as a Christmas gift for someone special in your life. Drop by the Albion Chamber of Commerce next to Citizenís Bank (or next to the Bohm Theatre if you prefer) to see the available selection. Why, you could even purchase one of my Riverside Cemetery tour booklets for use as a "stocking stuffer."

With the demolition of the old Consumerís Power Office building at 121 E. Erie St. on Monday, November 22, Albion has lost another historical landmark. This building was constructed in the summer of 1916 as the both the passenger depot for the Michigan United Railways, or "Interurban," and as the office, display rooms and local workshop of the Consumerís Power Company which operated the waterpower plant next door. This new station replaced the original Interurban passenger station (used since 1903) which was located at 221 S. Superior St. in a downtown building.

The interurban was an electric-powered railway which was in operation from 1903 to 1929. The tracks went right down the middle of particular streets, such as E. Erie, S. Superior St., W. Cass St., Austin Avenue, and others. In town there used to be overhead wires which powered the cars. In the country there was an electrified "third rail." The tracks were removed in 1930.

Attached to the back of the passenger depot was the freight depot, that diagonal portion of the building which was built over the old water raceway which once flowed diagonally to the Stone Mill, presently the Citizenís Bank building. The freight depot was serviced by a spur which ran east of the passenger depot to alongside of the east side of the freight depot.

An addition was constructed (with no basement unlike the original building) attached to the west side of the Consumerís building in 1962. The entire front of the original building was bricked over. Customers now had to use the new addition to pay their electric bills or to purchase electric appliances. A big grand opening was held in April of that year.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photo of the MUR passenger depot and Consumerís Power Co. office, circa 1920. On the far left is the diagonal freight depot. On the far right is an interurban car sitting on the diagonal spur which led to the back where the freight depot was located. In the center is the office building. On the left window is painted "Consumerís Power Company." On the right window appears "Michigan United Railways."

How many of our readers remember paying their Consumerís Power electric bill here, or remember purchasing an appliance in this building?


MUR Passenger Depot and Consumer's Power Depot ca. 1920

Next: SULLIVANíS ONCE POPULAR EATING ESTABLISHMENT HERE


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