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, April 26, 2020, pg. 4

Three miles west of Albion along Michigan Avenue is the intersection with 24 Mile Road. The latter serves as the boundary between Sheridan and Marengo Townships. 24 Mile Road ends here with a scenic overlook of the formerly-named Michigan Central railroad tracks, and the Kalamazoo River below. This is historically known as Clough View. It was named after the 19th century owner of the land located on the northeast corner of that intersection, Henry Clough (1825-1897). Henry had purchased 219 acres of farmland on that corner in the 1880s, which was subsequently continued by his son John Phineas Clough (1851-1930).

When the tracks of the Jackson Battle Creek Traction Company interurban electric railway were laid in 1903, the Company made the Clough View intersection as one of its local stops. The Interurban was an innovative means of transportation at the beginning of the 20th century. Tracks followed major routes, and in the cities the tracks were laid down the middle of streets, including in Albion. This made it convenient for passengers to be "let off" at many more local destinations that regular railroads offered, and also at specific rural stops between communities.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present an amazing picture postcard, courtesy of Darin Simmons, showing the Clough View interurban station and vicinity circa 1910. The view looks east towards Albion, with the station on the right. The sign on the side above the windows says "Clough View." On the north side of the station is a platform for passengers to embark and disembark. Below are the rails, including the adjacent "third rail" south of the regular tracks. This "third rail" was openly electrified and supplied the power to the interurban passenger cars. In the cities, overhead wires were used for supplying power.

The Michigan Central Railroad tracks can be seen in the distance. Michigan Avenue is wedged to the right (south) of the station, and to the left (north) of the Michigan Central tracks. On the left is the steep hill and grade of Clough View Road which is seen in the center of the photograph. Headed east towards Albion, the next rural stop for the interurban was the historical Reuben Emery (1849-1913) farm. Headed west towards Marengo, the next rural stop was the 103-acre Romondo Lake (1836-1910) farm along the north side Michigan Avenue just before reaching that big curve that takes you up to the Marengo intersection at 23 Mile Road.

With the proliferation of the gasoline engine automobile following World War I, people turned to cars as their preferred choice of transportation, and interurban revenues declined. Passenger service on the interurban ended on November 30, 1928, and freight service ended on June 1, 1929, thus ending the Interurban era. The tracks were removed in 1930, but you can still see portions of the old roadbed between Albion and Marshall today.

The Clough farmland on the NE corner intersection of 24 Mile Road & Michigan Avenue remained in the family through the 1960s, when it was sold to Dannie Sheldon, who operated an automobile repair business there. The large hill on the NE corner is no longer there, as it was subsequently mined for its sand and fill content. How many of our readers have noticed the old interurban right-of-way along Michigan Avenue between Albion and Marshall?

Clough View interurban station and vicinity circa 1910

Next: Albion 100 Years Ago - MAY 1920

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All text copyright, 2023 © all rights reserved Frank Passic

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