Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, December 15, 2013, pg. 4
It was 100 years ago on December 1, 1913 that the new Eagle Temple building at 204 W. Center St. opened as part of a huge celebration. The local Eagle Albion Aerie No. 1265 group opened their new headquarters that evening following a parade from their old location at 410 ˝ S. Superior St. It is estimated that between four and five thousand persons attended the festivities that evening.
The Albion Recorder stated at the time, "The crowd was so great on Center St. and around the temple that chairman Harry Green of the Fair Committee, made a short speech from the steps of the temple, thanking the crowed for turning out and explaining that the hall could not take care of all the people there at once. The assembly room was on the top floor was packed, and hundreds of people were turned away." Inside were various vendor booths, selling merchandise from all over the United States. These items included flowers, popcorn, Teddy bears, as well as food.
The Eagles held on to their new building for a little more than a decade. Unfortunately World War I was not kind to the local Aerie as many of its members went off to War, and also the German ancestry of many of its members was not a popular situation. Following the War, membership numbers did not recover to pre-War levels. The Eagles found themselves with too large a building on its hands and unable to manage the financial debt payments. They therefore sold the building to local Masonic groups in 1925 and moved back to their old location. The building then became known as the Masonic Temple, and operated until 2003.
In October, 2006 the building was purchased by Robin Walters and Randy Smith, who opened the Belissma Bridal Boutique in the location. It remains there today. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a postcard photograph of the Eagle Temple building, found on page 101 of my new book "Albion," consisting of 230 historical postcards about Albion. This book is still available from yours truly and would make a nice Christmas gift for someone you know. Contact me at (517) 629-5402, or Albionfp@hotmail.com if you’d like to purchase a copy.
Eagle Temple building at 204 W. Center St.
Next: SANTA CLAUS IN ALBION
All text copyright, 2020 © all rights reserved Frank Passic