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 17, 2017, pg. 9

When the Albion Public Schools was formed in 1867 as a result of the merger of three separate local districts, the new district faced several challenges. The noted historian and Albion-native Henry D. Brown (1911-1970) wrote about this in the November 10, 1934 issue of the Albion Evening Recorder. His article was entitled "First School Board Had Many Troubles Getting Albion System Started." Let’s enjoy Henry’s writings this week as we feature some excerpts from that article.

"The first Albion school board in 1867 was faced with many difficulties produced by those who objected to the union school idea. An injunction, which had been obtained, restraining the township treasurers from paying any money to the school board, was finally withdrawn after much time and money had been spent in fighting it."

"The early board received so many criticisms of its legal authority to carry on the work of the school, that it finally asked citizens interested in education to circulate petitions and memorialize the legislature in Lansing to enact a special bill to legalize the actions of the board of the union district. There is no record of the passage of such a bill but the criticism was finally dropped and the need for it removed."

"Another difficulty soon confronted the board. The old Presbyterian Church, in which the higher grades were housed, was sold in the spring of 1869 to the newly organized Lutheran Church, and was moved to the site of the present church [Note: On S. Superior St at Elm]. This caused the discontinuance of the higher grades for that school term. However, in 1870 new quarters were found in Fireman’s Hall and the Central School was re-opened."

"In the report of 1870 are the following interesting statements: School has been maintained in the South Division 9˝ months, and in the East Division 9˝ months. Teachers for the above were all employed at the uniform and very low rate of compensation of seven dollars per week. The Central School has been maintained 8˝ months; two teachers were employed. About 450 pupils attended the schools during the year."

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of the original 1872-erected Central School building on E. Michigan Avenue as it appeared circa 1905. This is now the site of the Washington Gardner High School building. This building was demolished in the summer of 1906 and a new replacement structure was subsequently erected.

Central School building on E. Michigan Avenue


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