Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
March 12, 2017, pg. 6
Perhaps you have noticed that electric workers have been removing the "woods" growing over old railroad spurs on the west side of N. Eaton St. next to the "River Walk,"as they install new high-tension power lines. This area didnít use to be overgrown with trees as such. One spur rail line, still buried there, serviced the McDougal & Young Coal Yard below and also adjacent storage sheds above. Perhaps you have noticed the "butt end"rail at the sidewalk on N. Eaton St. where this spur ended. Another spur line just to the north headed across N. Eaton St. to service the Albion Gas Light Company, and then across Clinton St. to service the Norman H. Wiener building in the early 20th century. That portion was removed in the 1950s. Currently workers have been removing spur rails west of N. Eaton St. as part of the clean-up.
The area where the majority of the clearing is taking place once contained storage sheds used for warehousing lumber, implements, and other materials that arrived in town by rail. One of the sheds also served as a coal warehouse. The 1966 "Birdís Eye"view of Albion by Ruger shows these sheds, which in those days were used as part of Albionís "stockyard."This is where sheep, cattle, and other animals were unloaded for area farmers. The animals would then be herded and driven along the middle of S. Eaton St. to W. Erie St. and to points south and west to their farm destinations.
It should be mentioned that there was a railroad water tower located here which stood until August, 1956 when it was demolished. Coal-powered steam engines were discontinued by the railroad in the mid-1950s as it switched to diesel fuel, and thus the water tower was no longer needed.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present an August 30, 1956 of the railroad water tower with the sheds in the distance along the side-rail tracks. Just behind them was the McDougal & Young Coal Year. Our second photograph shows how the same scene looked like on March 2, 2017.
Railroad water tower, August 30, 1956
All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic