Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, September 14, 2014, pg. 3
During this month of September, we shift our thoughts towards the upcoming Festival of the Forks. Yours truly will have my Albion History booth in front of First Merit Bank in the center of downtown this coming Saturday, September 20. Be sure and stop by and see me. Iíll have my three remaining in-print titles of Albion history books and other materials available, as well as interesting displays. Iím going through my last box of my latest title "Albion (Postcards)", so be sure and stop by and purchase an autographed copy before they are all gone. Thank you for your support.
The Kalamazoo River played an important part in the early history and development of our community. Early descriptions of Albion regularly featured the water resources located here. For example, the 1863-64 State Gazetteer states, "Among the noticeable features of Albion is the artesian well on the premises of Jesse Crowell, Esq., the only well of its kind in the county. It is 285 feet in depth and discharges a continuous stream of pure water at the rate of two barrels per minute, the water maintaining a mean temperature of 53 degrees Fahrenheit, which never varies a single degree in summer or winter."
Another reference, the 1894-95 Albion City Directory states, "The city in size comprises about four square miles and is located upon what was once an oak opening on the east and west banks of the Kalamazoo River, the elevation being about 60 feet above the level of Lake Michigan. The water supply is furnished by artesian wells whose source is from the land elevations around Hillsdale. These furnish an abundant supply of the purest water."
For many years there were numerous artesian wells at various locations throughout town before they were capped by the city. The capped spring in the Market Place by the Stoffer Plaza is an example, as well as the one in the Rieger Park pond which still keeps the water churning enough to prevent freezing in the winter is another. There used to be one on S. Superior St. near present-day Fedco where you would walk down in a hole where a well was located, and drink from a "community cup."
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a May 23, 1961 photo of the historical Victory Park spring. This is a well known local landmark where hundreds of Albion residents have drank from, and obtained water in gallon jugs. Forget that the physical set-up doesnít meet State of Michigan standardsóthe spring keeps on springing as it always has. The cement platform makes it easier to kneel down and fill your jug. It was installed in 1961 by Frederick Rettinger of Battle Creek. When is the last time you had a swig of real Albion water from this spring?
The Spring in Victory Park, May 23, 1961
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All text copyright, 2020 © all rights reserved Frank Passic