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 CAPITAL IDEA

Morning Star, January 5, 1997, pg. 9

Can you imagine Albion being the capital of Michigan? We all know that Marshall almost became Michiganís capital in 1847 but missed it by two votes in the state legislature. But did you know that Albion, too was considered for the designation?

Back in 1847, the Michigan legislature was considering propositions to move the state capital from Detroit to various Michigan communities. Governor Felch encourage this action as part of his annual message to the legislature that year, and the proposals soon began.

On February 11, 1847, various communities were considered and votes were taken in the Michigan House of Representatives. They are listed here. The first number are the "yes" votes, and the number after the slash are the "no" votes. Ann Arbor 18/44; Battle Creek 23/38; Corunna 17/44; Byron 27/31; Detroit 18/43; Dexter 17/44; Eaton Rapids 27/34; Grand Blanc 23/34; Jackson 27/31; Lyons 30/28; Marshall 29/32. Although Lyons won, the House took another vote at its next meeting and chose Lansing by a vote of 35 to 27.

What about Albion? Well, our community lost out by 7 votes on that cold February day; 27 votes "yes," and 34 "no." So if we had had only 8 more votes, Albion would have been the state capital of Michigan. Can you imagine that? Bellemont Manor at Albion College would be the Governorís Mansion, and Goodrich Chapel would make a nice State Capitol building.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present an 1835 map of Calhoun County when it was still wilderness, such as was when a new capital was considered by the legislature. The rivers are clearly marked, and the northern portion of the county was known as "Bear Plains." An Indian Village is located along Rice Creek in Section 13 of Sheridan Township, near the Jackson County line.


1835 Map of Calhoun County, Michigan

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