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.

A PARTING POEM ABOUT THE STONE MILL

Morning Star, December 24, 2017, pg. 9

A very Merry Christmas to my readers of this column. Thank you for your support and for getting to me old photographs, directories, yearbooks, and other Albion history items which I use in my research. With all of the building construction going on in downtown Albion this past year and continuing, I'd like to present an article I prepared a year ago but couldn't "fit it in"at the time.

Occasionally in my research I'll come across something out-of-the-ordinary. This week I'd like to present a poem I came across. In 1916, the 1845-built 3 ˝ story landmark Jesse Crowell Stone (flour) Mill in downtown Albion was extensively reconstructed into the Commercial & Savings Bank, 207 S. Superior St. The latter opened on January 1, 1917. [Note: Today it is the Huntington Bank]. Local newspaper Albion Leader editor William B. Gildart (1848-1918) composed and published a poem as part of an "obituary"for the Mill. We are republishing it here. From our Historical Notebook this week we present an 1857 drawing of the Mill, shown on the left. The original Mill office (present-day site of Fedco) is on the right. Enjoy, and again, Merry Christmas!

THE OLD STONE MILL.

We have no strange or mystic shrines,
No temples here moss-grown with age.
The new is old ere yet it lines
Are fairly traced on history's page

Man rears a solid work of rock
He quarries from the native soil
A structure that should bear the shock
Of grinding Time's relentless toil.

Within those gray, protecting walls
Man's cunning craft is deftly plied.
His labor done; the master calls
Down the long race the pent-up tide.

That tide was but the living blood
Poured into artery and vein
Of iron, and stone and steel and wood,
Conceptions of master brain.

The purring wheels begin to turn;
The throb and hum of life begin;
A Fancy's child has thus been born
To live and thrive within that din.

That din was heard through three score years;
Attractive was its whirring sound.
T'was music to the pioneers
Who settled in the country ‘round.

A city from a hamlet grew
The Stone Mill made the daily flour
Of toiling hundreds—they who do
And dare to be a city's power.

But Time no temp'ring mercy knows;
His withering hand is over all;
All are but midgets ‘neath his blows,
And men and things before him fall.

‘Twas so with him whose fertile brain
Conceived the thought, the structure reared;
‘Twill be the same—O, sad refrain!
Now that his work has disappeared.

The Stone Mill, first a Fancy thought,
The mind of man containing.
Will be once more an airy naught
Fond Memory retaining.


Albion's Stone Mill in 1858

Next: ALBION 100 YEARS AGO JANUARY 1918

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All text copyright, 2020 © all rights reserved Frank Passic

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