Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, August 17, 1997, pg. 4
Just east of Albion at the junction of Michigan Avenue and Comdon Road in Jackson County sits a large boulder on the north side of the road. This ten-ton granite boulder was “retrieved” from the nearby field and placed there in 1915. The stone is a monument erected to remember the old Territorial Road upon which thousands of pioneers from New York state traveled across in the 1830s and 1840s to find a new life in the Michigan Territory.
Back then the “main drag” was Comdon Road/C Drive North. It was Jesse Crowell who built Michigan Avenue/Jackson Street from Comdon Road, diagonally into Albion where it met with S. Hannah St. Crowell also built the diagonal Austin Avenue to where it was graded to meet C Drive North again west of Albion. Thus, pioneers could “exit” the Territorial Road to come to “the Forks.” Today of course, we have I-94.
On Friday, July 30, 1915, the local Hannah Tracy Grant Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution dedicated their boulder monument, which can be easily seen today. The plaque was made at the Albion Malleable Iron Company by Otto Conrad, and was paid for by the vice-president of the Malleable, Harry B. Parker. The text states, “This stone marks the old Territorial Road, one of two trails over which immigration came to Michigan. Dedicated to the Pioneers of Calhoun County by Hannah Tracy Grant Chapter D.A.R. 1915.” Thus we have a Calhoun County-type monument located in Jackson County.
Speaker at the dedication event was none other than the Hon. Washington Gardner. The plaque was unveiled by Albion Public School teacher, Belle Pratt. Form our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of the Territorial Road monument, draped with the American flag. Drive by and stop to look at this monument the next time you drive to Parma or Jackson along Michigan Avenue.
The Territorial Road Monument
Next: MONTCALM LAKE
All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic