Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, December 7, 2014, pg 9
As you contemplate what to give your friends and relatives for Christmas, how about giving them one of my Albion history books? They are filled with memories and scenes of Albion that will surely spark conversation and interest. The three books that are still available are: "Growing Up in Albion," "Albion in Review," and "Albion [Postcards]." They are available from yours truly at my house or my car. Contact me at Albionfp@hotmail.com , or call (517) 629-5402 for details. I can also mail them to destinations across the country.
Occasionally in this column I like to feature the "Then and Now" theme. Of course that can be a bit "touchy" because the "then" was more prosperous than the "now," especially when vacant lots and abandoned factories are concerned.
In 1903 the Interurban electric railway came to town, and its tracks ran down the center of S. Superior St. The Interurban was a popular way of transportation at the beginning of the 20th century, and lasted until the late 1920s.
Here in Albion, the Interurban opened under the name of the Jackson Battle Creek Traction Company. Its passenger depot was located at 221 (originally numbered 215) S. Superior St. It was located in the small building storefront that is immediately to the right (south) of Fedco today, or just to the left of the big building (formerly the Albion Opera House building) housing Dr. Judy Warren’s dental office.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present the "Then and Now." Our first photograph is taken from a 1907 triple fold-out panoramic view of downtown Albion, published by "Bullen’s Big Busy Store." Look just to the left of the Charles Ashdown Clothier awning. You’ll see the "Jackson Battle Creek Traction Co." name printed at the end of the awning. In front along the curb is a small waiting stand, with the tracks in the foreground amidst our brick street. Upstairs were attorney offices. Old Albion postcards will often show an Interurban car sitting in the middle of the street. That is because it was parked in front of this passenger depot. This depot was used from 1903 until a new one was built on E. Erie St. in 1916.
1907 Interurban Passenger Station
In the 1950s this was the original location of Cartwright Shoes. Later during the 1960s and 1970s it was Wells Shoes, and Albion Bootery. Its small area left no room for a business to expand. Eventually it was "annexed" by Fedco next door for use as a dollar store, but of course that closed also. Our second photograph is of the "now." Today it sits vacant and boarded up, awaiting the emergence of some entrepreneur as part of the "new Albion." How many of our readers remember going into this building when there was a shoe store here?
2014, 221 S. Superior St.
Next: ANGLE PARKING
All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic