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.

PEABODY/GOTHIC MILLRACE

Morning Star, September 6, 1998, pg. 12

As we approach the time of the Festival of the Forks on September 19, we are reminded that it was water power that attracted the first settlers to "the Forks." Water power was a faster way to grind grain and power sawmills. The Peabody/Gothic Millrace was dug in 1854 by Albionís first settler, Paul Tenney Peabody and George Hannahs, Albionís first village president and prominent banker. The millrace way began at S. Hannah St., continued along Linden Avenue, and ended between E. Cass and E. Porter St. The mill was located on S. Monroe St. across from where the Presbyterian Church now stands. Upon Tenneyís death in 1856, the mill passed to his sons David and Walter. It condinued in operation until it burned shortly after midnight on June 22, 1876, according to the minutes of the Hook & Ladder Company.

The Peabody Mill was replaced by the White Mill on E. Cass St., erected in 1876 by Manley Amsden (1831-1912) and J. William Clark. The White Mill was known throughout southern Michigan for its Victor brand flour, used for making breads and pastries. The Mill underwent a series of ownerships, and finally closed in 1957, the last of the waterpowered businesses in Albion. The structure burned in 1974 and was demolished, with Lloyd Park subsequently being construted on the site.

The raceway feeding the mill was filled in between E. Porter and E. Cass Sts. in March, 1965, and apartments were built upon the old millrace site. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a picturesque view of the White Mill and its two adjoining silos, looking north from the E. Porter St. footbridge which once went over the raceway.

This picture was featured on the cover of the August, 1953 issue of the Albion Malleable Iron Company publication, the "Circle-A-Tor." The Circle-A-Tor is an excellent local history resource, as it contains photoraphs of the Albion area from the 1940s through the 1960s. The Circle-a-Tor also contains hundreds of photographs of the people who worked at the Albion Malleable Iron Company.At my Albion History Booth at the Festival of the Forks in front of Citizens Bank on September 19, I will have my remaining duplicate copies of the Circle-A-Tor available.

Stop by and visit me at the Festival. I enjoy talking with people about Albion history at my booth, and am always on the lookout for items I can greatly use in my research collection for articles I write.


The White Mill

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