Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

Return to the Frank Passic
Home Page  

Return to the Albion Michigan Home Page

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

THEN AND NOW: 1911 And 2016

Morning Star, January 10, 2016, pg. 4

I’ve avoided the "Then and Now" theme in this column, as it would usually be "politically incorrect." You know what I mean: First featuring an old photograph of vibrant thriving Albion businesses, factories and schools, and next illustrating let’s say, a present-day photo of a vacant lot where an elaborate Albion College fraternity or an adobe house used to be, or an empty downtown Albion business location, or an empty factory site. We all can think of examples of this sort of thing. This year however we have some hope. A brand new hotel is scheduled to be built in the 200 block of S. Superior St. in downtown Albion, which includes the site where a hotel once stood in the 19th century (The Commercial Hotel at 108 W. Porter St.)

Let’s compare. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a "Then and Now" theme of the 200 block of S. Superior St. Our first photo is a 1911 picture postcard taken by the noted Michigan photographer Louis Pesha (1868-1912) of Marine City. Moving from left to right, this begins with the 4-story Eslow Block (218) on the corner of S. Superior and W. Porter Sts. The top story was destroyed by a fire in 1919. The advertisement painted on the side states "J. C. Eslow and Son Insurance." Note: A continuation of this photo by Pesha showing the W. Porter St. view (facing west) can be found on page 102 of my 2013 book "Albion [Postcards]" printed by Arcadia Publishing. The name on the awing on the corner states "The Albion Café." Isn’t it appropriate that the new proposed hotel will have a restaurant, too?

The next spot in the Eslow Block with no awning is the Bijou Theatre (216) which opened there in 1909. In the next building which housed George Caines’ paint store in the late 20th century, was the Kilian Furniture and Undertaking establishment (212). Those two themes "went together" well back then, as furniture makers often made caskets, too--sort of a "full service" business. Next in the building which housed Wilkings’ Office Supply in the late 20th century is pictured the Afton A. Dibble Clothing Store (210). Next, in the building which housed the Acme Quality Paint (208) in the late 20th century is shown an unnamed café with a small café sign above. In the 1913 Albion City Directory it lists the W. B. Clarke Billiards (208) at that location which in those days often included a café. Next, the Talmage & Bauer Meat Market (206) is shown located in the south half of the Howard Hall building, presently the closed Sam Friia law office, while the Ladies’ & Gents’ Café (Hoaglin & Ganka) is located next door (north, 204), where Foxy Nails is located today. A small sign stating "Billiards, Café" appears above the awning. The last two businesses, the George Schneider clothing store (202), and the C. S. Tucker Dry Goods store (200) are located in the building on the far north end of the block.

Our second photograph shows how this same view looks like today. What will this same view look like next year when the hotel is completed? We’ll all have to wait and see.


200 block of S. Superior St. NOW


200 block of S. Superior St. THEN

Next: GERMAN SOCCER CLUB


Back to the Top of this Page

All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic

Did you enjoy this page?

If you've enjoyed learning about Albion history from this site, please write us a note in the Albion Guestbook. We hope you will take the time to share your interest and stories related to Albion history, especially if you have any ancestors from Albion, please let us know.

Learn more about Albion Michigan!
Visit the Albion home page.

Search the AlbionMich.com website

Albion History Articles

Historical Notebook  |  From the Archives  |  Subject List  |  100 Years Ago


Kept current by: Robin James

Indices Unlimited Indexing Services


And now a word from our sponsors

See prints of Albion Michigan , by Maggie LaNoue, the owner of the Albion Home Page.

Help to sponsor these web pages and this site.

Albion Design and Carlson Craft have worked together to offer an amazing selection of wedding invitations online. From invites, to rsvps, gifts and more, Carlson Craft has an outstanding 60 year history of creating wedding stationery packages designed to the personal tastes of each bride and groom. With their easy online ordering service and quick turn around, you will appreciate the ease of ordering and the prices also! You can order a sample card of any invitation to see the quality, and proof the wording of the invitations online.
View wedding invitations online: Design.carlsoncraft.com

wedding invitations michigan