Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, July 31, 2016, pg. 14
The newly named Ludington Building (formerly the Parker-Kessler Block) on the northwest corner of Cass and Superior Streets in downtown Albion stands on the original local site of the Gale Manufacturing Company. Coming to Albion from Jonesville in 1864, the Gale firm manufactured farm implements and was a major Albion employer for many years. The Gale complex filled the entire block to the River of the north side of W. Cass St. all the way to Clinton St., including the site of today’s City Hall.
The Company moved to N. Albion St. in 1888, where it continued until the firm closed in 1968. Their former location at Cass/Superior Sts. was sold to the newly formed Albion Malleable Iron Company, which began operations here in 1889, and continued until they moved to N. Albion St. in 1898. At that time the former Gale building was demolished and the Parker-Kessler Block was erected in 1900.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of the original Gale plant with its workers standing out in front and hanging out the upper story windows. Many of the workers were German immigrants that had been recruited during the 1870s and 1880s. This photograph appears to date from the mid-1880s. Notice at the top above the tower there is a weather vane. This is not the normal horse vane as one would expect. A closer look will reveal that the vane is shaped in the form of a Gale plow. How many of our readers remember the Gale Manufacturing Company?
Gale Foundary in the 1880s
All text copyright, 2018 © all rights reserved Frank Passic