Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, December 5, 1993
How would you like to purchase a lot in one of Albion’s more “elite” neighborhoods in the vicinity of Albion College for just $700? That’s what was available in the early 1920s as the land south of E. Erie St. making up Elizabeth, Darrow, Brockway Place, and S. Hannah Streets was developed, Known as the Fairview Park Addition, lots averaged $695, and were offered for sal beginning in February, 1920. Lots on Brockway Place could be had for as little as $385.
The area was developed by the A-B-C-D Land Company, an acronym for Albion-Blair-Cooley-Darrow, made up of Albion businessmen and investors, which had been formed in the 1910s. The firm developed the Brockway Addition, made up of property of the late 19th century clergyman and entrepreneur Rev. William H. Brockway. Brockway owned the land in the area, as well as the land where the future Albion College athletic field was built, and what is now Victory Park. The land was then passsed on to his son-in-law, Dr. Samuel Dickie, president of Albion College, upon Brockway’s death.
The George P. Garin & Company of Battle Creek handled the 1920 sale of the Fairview Park lots, which incorporated the earlier developed Brockway Addition. Garin’s sales material advertised $1.00 down, and $1.00 a week for the first year. Circulars were printed which encouraged Albionites to get in on the bargains, and to purchase a lot. At least 20 of the homes that were developed on these lots in the early 1920s were financed at the time by Homestead Loan and Building Association, now Homestead Savings Bank, presently Albion’s only remaining locally owned financial institution.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present two advertisements for this section of town, which readers can drool over when reading the prices these lots originally went for. The first advertisement boasts, “No Interest, No Taxes For One Year, No Payments when Sick or Out of Work. $1.00 A Week.”
The second advertisement is more detailed, showing an actual map of the lots which were for sale, and a chart at the right showing the price of the lot. The “car line” shown on Erie St. refers to the Interurban railroad tracks which once ran down the middle of Erie St. through the 1920s. It is interesting to study about when different neighborhoods in Albion were developed, as our city grew in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some of these developments are covered in my book, “Homestead Savings and Loan and the Builders of Albion,” published in 1988 and still available locally. Check out this book to find out when your neighborhod was developed.
Fairview Park Advertisements
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All text copyright, 2015 © all rights reserved Frank Passic