Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, February 8, 2015, pg. 10
With the recent remodeling of the former Harry Beebe Parker (1889-1936) home at 501 E. Michigan Avenue into the new Albion College presidentís residence being in the news this past year, we are reminded of the prominence Mr. Parker had in our community for many years, and the landmark hotel that bore his name.
Harry B. Parker was a major Albion industrialist, and vice-president (later president) of the Albion Malleable Iron Company. He was the step-son of the Malleable founder Warren S. Kessler, and was a son-in-law of the Hon. Washington Gardner who lived up the street. Parker was philanthropically involved in the civic life of Albion. He provided funds for the erection of several Albion churches, gave the land for a new City Hall on W. Cass St., was active on the Sheldon Memorial Hospital board of trustees, and was a member of several clubs and organizations.
In 1926, the Parker Inn Hotel opened at 301 E. Michigan Avenue. This full service hotel was located along busy U.S.-12, and was a popular resting stop between Detroit and Chicago. After the U.S.-12 bypass (I-94) opened in 1960 north of town, business declined during the next decade and the hotel was closed in 1970. Today the former Parker Inn Hotel building is owned by Albion College.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a 1955 postcard photograph of the Parker Inn. This was during Albionís post-World War II boom years prior to the opening of I-94. The 1955 Albion City Directory lists Mrs. Doris Davis as the owner. Notice the cars parked out front. Those spaces of course are gone today. Also observe the large trees in front. Those too, are gone today. The sign on the left states, "HOTEL. PARKER INN. $2.20 & UP." How many of our readers remember the Parker Inn Hotel?
1955 postcard photograph of the Parker Inn
All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic