Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, October 19, 2014, pg. 5
We all know that the Gale Manufacturing Company was a major Albion industry from 1864 until it closed in 1968. Its office building at 115 N. Albion St. is still standing today as a private residence. Yours truly has written several articles about the Gale in this column over the years.
Did you know that Gale foundry and plow factory was once located in Jonesville before they moved to Albion? The firm was originally founded by George Gale (1798-1872) in Moscow, Michigan in the 1830s. George would go into the woods and hew off some handles and beams, and his son Orlando (1823-1912) would operate the foundry portion of the business.
After the father George left for the California Gold Rush, Orlando sold the Moscow business and then moved to Jonesville in 1853, where he opened another plow factory and foundry. Subsequently three of his brothers would enter into various partnerships. By time the Civil War arrived, the firm was known as A. & H. Gale, for August (1834-1912) and Horatio (1838-1892) Gale.
The Gale brothers sold their plow facility in Jonesville in 1864 to Leonard and R. T. Miller, who continued to produce plows and agricultural implements until 1878 under the Miller name. The Gale firm moved to Albion in 1864, and the rest is history. Through the years the Jonesville building was occupied by various enterprises, and underwent natural decay.
In the past couple of years however the brick remains of the old Gale foundry building in Jonesville have been saved from total destruction. The building has been thoughtfully incorporated into a new storage facility built around it, owned and operated by the Ron Gow Construction Company.
The old Gale facility is located at 117 West Street (west side), a central north-south street just south of the main U.S.-12. highway which goes through the center of town. It is easy walking distance from "Saucy Dog" which is where I first learned of its location. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a contemporary photo of the brick front of the old Gale plow foundry there in Jonesville. Special thanks to Jonesville historian Ward Rearick for tipping me off and providing me with information for this week’s article.
The brick front of the old Gale plow foundry, 117 West St. in Jonesville
All text copyright, 2020 © all rights reserved Frank Passic