Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, May 17, 1998, pg. 8
Coming up this Monday, May 25 is “Memorial Day Observed,” as opposed to the “real” Memorial Day, which was May 30 no matter what day of the week it came on. The holiday of course has its origins following the Civil War to honor the war dead, and with General Logal (Logan Street in Lansing was named for him) who initiated the practice of placing flowers on the graves of Civil War soldiers.
In Riverside Cemetery here in Albion lie the remains of numerous veterans from many wars, including two Revolutionary War soldiers. There is a large plaque with the names of Albion’s Civil War veterans in the Grand Army of the Republic lot on the hill just south of the Monroe Mausoleum. The GAR was the Civil War veteran’s association, and one year our own Washington Gardner was the commander-in-chief of the national organization in 1913-14.
During Memorial Day weekend, many people come to place flowers on the graves of loved ones at Riverside Cemetery. Some come from other parts of the country, and for some this may be their first visit in years. The Saturday before Memorial Day especially is a busy day at the Cemetery, and I enjoy going to the cemetery and visiting with persons, especially with those bearing out-of-state license plates. I have been able to make contact with descendants of Albion pioneer families this way, and get ideas for my Riverside Cemetery tour program for October which I am beginning to prepare now.
Weather permitting, I’ll be at Riverside on Saturday, May 23 with my cemetery research material and diagrams relating to the cemetery. If you’d like to know where someone is buried, I may be able to help, as well as give out other information. I’ll be located somewhere in the southern portion of the cemetery.
A few years ago now I prepared an inch-thick research report with supporting data, which also contained legal application forms prepared by the Albion City Manager for the State Historic Site designation for Riverside Cemetery. This was realized on August 29, 1996, when Riverside Cemetery was named a State Historic Site. The marker was dedicated on May 18, 1997.
I have taken the history portion I wrote and have condensed it into history book form, 27 pages long. My latest book is entitled, “A History of Riverside Cemetery in Albion, Michigan.” It contains the fascinating history of our local landmark site and a listing of famous and prominent people buried here. If you’d like a copy, they are available at the Albion Chamber of Commerce, or I’ll have them at the Cemetery. There’s some interesting reading here. For example, the first owner of the cemetery land was a woman, Betsey Lewis. When she sold the land, it says on the deed that they made her husband Lucius go out of the room so it could be said that Betsey was selling the land out of her own free will and not under compulsion of her husband.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of the historical marker (funded by the Albion Civic Foundation) that now sits at the entranceway to Riverside Cemetery.
Riverside Cemetery Historical Marker
All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic