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, May 5, 1996, pg. 4

Our city has certainly made a name for itself over the years, and is more recognizable across the United States than ever before. With several famous or notable persons having their origins here, and of course the influence of Albion College and all that has meant, our community has played its part in the development of our state and country.

The word Albion is an early, Celtic name (12th century) for Britain, which refers to the white cliffs found (root word: Albino, meaning "white") along the coastline there. Remember the song, "The White Cliffs of Dover?" When English settlers came to the "new world," they brought the name Albion with them as a reminder of their heritage. Of course locally we have the Albion College Britons. In our history, the Albion High School Class of1900 published the first local high school yearbook which was titled, "Albionesis, A Product of the Heights," which illustrated a large cliff overlooking the ocean.

A couple of years ago while driving to Montreal, we took the scenic route through New York state. A short distance from Buffalo we saw a sign which stated, "Albion, 1 Mile." Then a while later we passed another sign in Oswego County which stated, "Albion Township." Our community was named after the latter, in honor of the place where "Albionís greatest benefactor," Jesse Crowell, was from. The area is heavily forested and quite hilly, full of lakes and streams. This made me wonder: How many Albionís are there across the United States?

By the way, have you ever wondered, are we "over" Ohio, or are we "over" Indiana? The answer is: Ohio, but barely. If you draw a line straight up from their border, you will find that it will go down the middle of 26 Mile Road just a mile west of town, splitting Starr commonwealth inhalf. So we are geographically in southeast Michigan.

After browsing through some current, and 19th century maps, I have determined that our community is the largest of over a dozen Albionís known to exist. Some are just small burgs along a two lane road, while others are now ghost towns. There is an Albion, California, located along the Pacific coastline, 150 miles north of San Francisco. Other Albionís are located in the states of: Colorado, Indiana, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin. I discovered an Albion on an 1880s-era map of South Dakota, which does not appear today.

In addition to town/community names, I suppose there are several Albion streets across the country. For example, I know of one in Denver, Colorado, a city where several descendants of our own Paul Tenney Peabody settled. I wonder how many Albion communities and/or streets were named after our own town?

Finally, there is an Albion in the upper peninsula of Michigan. It is located in the "rabbit ears" section just south of Calumet, in the historical copper mining region. I know of one person who had some furniture shipped there by mistake back in the 1950s in the days before zip codes. Ironically, there is a Concord located southwest of that Albion, just north of Houghton. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a map of the Calumet area, showing the location of the upper peninsula Albion. Have any of our readers visited there before?



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