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.


Morning Star, January 9, 2000, pg. 15

It was good to learn of the agreement between the City of Albion and Starr Commonwealth concerning a new water plant for our town. We are fortunate to have an abundance of water in our area and cheap water rates compared to what other communities are paying. It will be good to see and taste the "sparkling clean" improvements to our water system in the months and years to come.

It was the potential of water power that attracted our first settlers to "the Forks" in the 1830s, and our abundance of water has been well known throughout the state. In the 1863-64 "State Gazetteer," it states about our community, "Among the noticeable features of Albion is the artesian well on the premises of Jesse Crowell, Esq., the only well of the kind in the county. It is 285 feet in depth and discharges a continuous stream of pure water, at the rate of two barrels per minute, the water maintaining a mean temperature of 53 degrees Fahrenheit, which never varies a single degree in summer or winter."

An artesian well is made by drilling into the ground until the internal pressure forces the water up like a fountain. Now I am wondering where this was: whether it was the Victory Park spring, the artesian well that used to be in front of present-day Fedco, or the spring in the Market Place? Crowell owned all of those sites. The artesian well on Superior Street however was in front of Crowell’s office, and that is probably what the article was referring to. There used to be a tin "community cup" that people could drink from when they walked down into the well hole.

Albion’s municipal water system was instituted in 1885. At that time two $50,000 bond issues were passed, and water pipes were laid throughout the city. At first the water was obtained from two six-inch diameter pipes in artesian wells. One of them of course, was on E. Cass St. and the old waterworks stood on the north side of the street just east of the Cass Street bridge. In a related manner, the sewer system was expanded with new street developments. By the 1930s, Albion had over 20 miles of sanitary sewers, and 7.2 miles of storm drains.

Through the years the City of Albion has had to find new well sites as the older ones became polluted and outmoded. One pumping station was erected on the west end of town on N. Albion St. This building stood until 1998 when it was demolished. From our Historical Notebook this week we present an historical postcard photograph of the N. Albion St. Water Works.

N. Albion St. Water Works


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