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, September 20, 2015, pg. 14

Albion has been known for having a significant amount of public housing ever since the Northview Homes opened upon on W. Broadwell Avenue in May, 1952. This was not the first public housing project in town, however. It was on April 21, 1945 that the Federal Public Housing Authority opened the West Park Trailers housing project on the southwest corner of N. Albion St. and Austin Avenue, on the site now occupied by McAuliffe Park.

The "Trailer Camp" as it was known consisted of approximately 100 government trailers that were placed north of the Albion Malleable Iron Company office parking lot in what today is McAuliffe Park. During that time there was a serious housing shortage as wartime production was at its peak, and the majority of the persons who came to live in Albion worked at the Malleable.

The land upon which the trailers sat was owned by the Malleable, but the City of Albion leased the site from the city for the duration of the project. Manager of the Camp was Albert A. Carroll, who didn’t live there of course, but resided at 600 ½ E. Erie St. with his wife Alice. The camp contained a building used for showering and restrooms for its residents.

After the War, Mayor Wiener and other city officials noted that having a trailer park at the entrance to our fair city was not the most attractive sight to persons entering our community along the busy U.S.-12 highway. In fact, when the trailer park idea had been conceived, Weiner had proposed to government officials to locate it north of Austin Avenue along Jefferson St.

In January 1949, Mayor Wiener petitioned the U.S. Government to close the trailer park, and for the government to provide the funds for public housing elsewhere in town. That was accomplished by the construction of the Northview Homes a few years later. The trailers were removed in 1949, and the next year the site was redeveloped as McAuliffe Park, named for former Albion Mayor Daniel McAuliffe who was Mayor of Albion during the Great Flood of 1908.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present an aerial view (a little blurry) of the trailer park. Notice the Malleable office executive parking lot is just to the lower left (south), which gives the reader a reference point as to its location. How many of our readers remember this trailer park? I am looking for better photographs of it. If anyone has any, please let me know. My e-mail is Albionfp@hotmail.com, phone (517) 629-5402.

The Malleable office executive parking lot is just to the lower left (south).

Next: Albion 100 Years Ago - OCTOBER 1915

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