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.

HORSE HITCHING POSTS

Morning Star, January 23, 2011, pg. 6

It is nice to see that Amtrak has just invested money into our local rail passenger stop by installing new signs and a handicap ramp. We hope this bodes well for Albion for the time when high-speed rail is instituted from Detroit to Chicago. Our local railroad depot needs some "touching up." Particularly the two decorative wooden "spindles" on the roof are mostly deteriorated and need to be replaced and painted, as well as the small wooden area by the roof peak needs repainting. Perhaps some local group could take this on as a community service project this year.

With Albion having a history that goes way back into the 19th century, we see obsolete fixtures all over town reminding us of earlier eras. Some examples: television aerials on rooftops, pay telephone booths/stalls, parking meter posts, fallout shelter signs, and abandoned newspaper boxes in front of the U.S. Post office. Some houses in Albion still have mechanisms for cisterns, manual water pumps, carriage steps, and horse hitches. What still exists in your own neighborhood?

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a snowy winter scene picture postcard taken of the First Baptist Church at 501 N. Superior St. around 1910. This brick edifice, erected in 1882, is presently the home of the Christ Apostolic Church. On the right is the water department "standpipe" which stood until February, 1962. At this time the park there was known as Washington Park. There is also an abundance of telegraph and telephone wires strung from a pole in front of the church.

Of particular note in this photo however, is the presence of nine (9) iron horse hitching posts along the curb in front of the church. These appear to be the simple-designed iron hitching posts and each had a stationary loop to pull the rope through. There were other hitches in town however that were more elaborate and were shaped like a horse’s head. They had a moveable ring loop to pull the rope through.

This photo was taken during a transition time from horses to horseless buggies. You can imagine parishioners (probably the youth of the youth group) galloping to church on their horses, hitching their horses to the posts, and then attending church. More civilized members would ride as a family in horse-drawn buggies. Whatever the case, the local Baptist Church provided ample "horse parking" as seen in this tranquil photo. How many of our readers ever rode a horse to church? Where do horse hitches still exist around Albion today?


Winter view of First Baptist Church at 501 N. Superior St. around 1910

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