Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, July 19, 2015, pg. 10

Territorial Road Rock, on June 14, 2015

On Friday, July 30, 1915, the Hannah Tracy Grant chapter of the local Daughter of the American Revolution dedicated a massive boulder east of town along Michigan Avenue on the north side of the road. It is located just east of the point where Comdon (Territorial) Road and Michigan Avenue separate. For many years Michigan Avenue was the busy U.S. -12 highway until I-94 opened in 1960.

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the placement and dedication of the marker. The granite boulder weighs about ten tons and was found by W. H. Rogers on the farm of John Ickes, several hundred yards south of its present location. A news report at the time stated, "It bears unmistakable marks of the glacial period and is thought by local geologists to have been washed down here from Saginaw Bay."

The plaque for the stone was made at the local Albion Malleable Iron Company by Otto Conrad, and was donated to the DAR by Harry Beebe Parker, vice-president of the Malleable. It was fitting that the speaker for the dedication was the Hon. Washington Gardner (1845-1928).

The plaque reads: "This stone marks the old Territorial Road, one of two trails over which immigration came to Michigan. Dedicated to the Pioneers of Calhoun County by Hannah Tracy Grant Chapter D.A.R. 1915." The Territorial Road was C Drive North in eastern Calhoun County, Comden Road and Michigan Avenue in western Jackson County. It was upon this road that thousands of settlers from New York State and other places traveled upon as they made their way westward into new lands, including Albion.

At the dedication event four Albion women who were among those who used the Territorial Road when coming here were present. They were: Adaline (Grosvenor) Peabody Ranney who came in 1838; Mrs. Ann E. Bryant and Mrs. Frances B. Lane who came over the trail in 1840, and Mrs. Mandana Warner, who came in 1836.

From our Historical Notebook this week we feature the cars lined up for the dedication ceremony, with a flag draped over the top of the rock. We also picture a present-day photograph of that rock and plaque. How many of our readers recognize this historical landmark?Week ending July 22, 1915. Headline: "$200,000 Will be Spent in Albion’s Building Boom. Fifth of a Million Dollars will Go into Construction Work This Season, Including Large Factory Additions, New Post Office, and Epworth Physical Laboratory for the College."

Territorial road plaque dedication ceremony parking

Next: Albion 100 Years Ago - AUGUST 1915

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