Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

Return to the Frank Passic
Home Page  

Return to the Albion Michigan Home Page

Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.

BROADWELL AVENUE

Morning Star, July 26, 1998, pg. 22

Recently you may have noticed that the City of Albion has been installing new street name signs at various locations throughout the city. These are one piece, painted on both sides, smaller signs. They have been replacing the larger street signs which had the names stamped and pained in large letters. It took two pieces which were riveted together.

The subject of street signs is interesting, as there have been many changes through the years. Eaerly in the 20th century, Albionís street signs were blue background with white lettering. Other names have been totally changed. For example, Sheridan Street is now Grace Street, West Division Street is now S. Dalrymple Street and Washington Street used to be W. Perry St.

There have even been changes in the street designations. Dalrympole Boulevard is now a street. Michigan Street between N. Superior and N. Eaton Streeet is now an "avenue" according to the signs just posted. In these days of rhyming and "cutsey" street names, the meaning of the terms: street, boulevard, court, avenue, and place have become somewhat muddled. These differences can be important, even in the Albion area. For example, we have Findley Drive and Finley Road; Eaton Street and Eaton Rapids Road; Division Drive and Division Street, etc.

One such example is Broadwell Avenue. Avenue, you say? Yes. Broadwell Avenue was once the northern boundary of our city and was intended to cross the northern length of our town, hence the avenue designation. Look at some of the street signs such as at Wiener and Broadwell, and you will still see "avenue" on the older signs today. The new signs the city has been putting up say "street."

Who was Broadwell? In Albionís history there was a Chalon Broadwell (ca. 1813-1856) who served as an early Albion mechanic and builder, and was a "Fire Alert" volunteer. Another source I read, however, stated that Broadwell was some state senator in New York where the wife of the developer of the area, Mrs. William H. Hartwell, Ellen (Clark) Hartwell (1849-1928) was from.

William H. Hartwell (1844-1930) was a farmer who lived in on the west side of N. Eaton Street where Hartwell and North streets intersect. Hartwell Street is named for him, and he platted the "Hartwell Addition" section of town. Williamís son Ernest Hartwell was the superintendent of the public schools in Buffalo, New York.

The first reference to Broadwell Avenue I have found is in the 1894-95 Albion City Directory. In that and in future directories, the designation is consistently "avenue." Some people who lived on Broadwell Avenue in the 1913 Albion City directory and their house numbers included: 311 Fred Rogenbauch; 312 Charles X Guyselman; 320 Homer W. Nelson; 321 Harry M. Wood; 323 Fred B. Mitz; 324 William L. Thomson (a local florist); 325 Don Hayes.

Regarding Broadwell Avenue, a lack of planning resulted in one block remaining private property and blocking the total route of the street in the vicinity of Caldwell School between Berrien and Maple Streets. Hence it is not an avenue anymore, but just a street. If Broadwell Avenue had been opened up to connect in that one small block, the street could have been a handy east-west connector. As a result, more traffic must flow across North Street instead. We all know that this is not the only street in town that is "cut off" from its logical connections, resulting in traffic being funneled onto other major arteries.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of one of the remaining Broadwell Avenue signs, and a 1918 map of the Hartwell Addition. Notice that First Street was originally N. Pearl, and that Second Street was originally an extension of Carson Street. Hartwell Street was just one block long and did not extend to Carson Street.


Broadwell Avenue sign and 1918 map of the Hartwell Addition

Next: DURKEE AND BEILFUSS SIDEWALK STAMP


Back to the Top of this Page

All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic

Did you enjoy this page?

If you've enjoyed learning about Albion history from this site, please write us a note in the Albion Guestbook. We hope you will take the time to share your interest and stories related to Albion history, especially if you have any ancestors from Albion, please let us know.

Learn more about Albion Michigan!
Visit the Albion home page.

Search the AlbionMich.com website

Albion History Articles

Historical Notebook  |  From the Archives  |  Subject List  |  100 Years Ago


Kept current by: Robin James

Indices Unlimited Indexing Services


And now a word from our sponsors

See prints of Albion Michigan , by Maggie LaNoue, the owner of the Albion Home Page.

Help to sponsor these web pages and this site.

Albion Design and Carlson Craft have worked together to offer an amazing selection of wedding invitations online. From invites, to rsvps, gifts and more, Carlson Craft has an outstanding 60 year history of creating wedding stationery packages designed to the personal tastes of each bride and groom. With their easy online ordering service and quick turn around, you will appreciate the ease of ordering and the prices also! You can order a sample card of any invitation to see the quality, and proof the wording of the invitations online.
View wedding invitations online: Design.carlsoncraft.com

wedding invitations michigan