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, September 16, 2001, pg. 17

My annual guided tour of Riverside Cemetery will be held on Sunday, October 14, at 1:30 p.m. The event is graciously sponsored by the Community Enrichment Program of the Albion Public Schools. We will begin the tour at the cemetery office. This yearís tour will be entitled, "The German Hill Tour of Riverside Cemetery." The Germans have been a major ethnic group in Albions history, and have played a significant role in the development of our community. They arrived here in great numbers beginning in the 1860s, although some were here before that time. There are hundreds, even thousands of Germans and their descendants buried in Riverside Cemetery.

Please spread the word about my tour to your friends and churches, and make plans to attend. Some of the German surnames weíll be featuring will include: Baader, Bearman (Baerman), Behling, Beilfuss, Bieske (Wirzbizki), Emery (Emerich), Eslow, Kusch, Nass, Ott, Pahl, Porr, Schumacher, Snyder (Schneider), Trader, Trine, Weishar (Weishaar), Wiselogel, Wochholz (Wachholz), and others. Specific individuals included on the tour will be identified in an upcoming news release.

One interesting fact I discovered when preparing this particular tour is that many of Albionís German families all came from the same place in the "old German Empire:" The province of Pommern, or Pomerania, was located in northeast Germany along the Baltic Sea coast. It has an interesting history which unfortunately we donít have the space to elaborate on here. Most of Albionís German families were from the same villages concentrated very close to each other in a small corner of Pomerania between the port city of Kolberg, and the town of Belgard 30 km. inland. These include towns like Schwemmin (especially), Parsow, Pustchow, Dassow, Damitz, Kolberg, Drosedow, and others.

The majority of the charter members of the St. Paulís Lutheran Church (1868) came from this small corner of Pomerania and many had known each other back there. Many of Albionís German families are genealogically inter-related, either from back in the "old country," or from here in Albion. It was interesting to discover that nearly "everyone is related to everyone else" as far as the German community in Albion is concerned.

After World War II, most of Pomerania was assigned to Poland, with the rest west of the Oder River becoming part of East Germany. Historically, many Pomeranians left their land and moved to the state of Wisconsin upon coming to the United States beginning in the 1840s. Albionís group of families began arriving here shortly after the Civil War in the 1860s. This continued through the turn of the century as family members encouraged others back in Pomerania to leave and come to Albion. Here they found employment as carpenters, skilled tradesmen, farmers, factory workers at the Gale Manufacturing Company, and other professions. We will honor their memories on Sunday, October 14.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present the official coat-of-arms crest of the medieval dukes of Pomerania, courtesy of Kurt Wochholz of Costa Mesa, California. The arms depicts a lion and eagle or griffon, and is also used on the Pomeranian flag. For the record, the Pomeranian dog breed is not originally from Pomerania, but is descended from sled dogs in Iceland and Lapland. It is believed the breed got its name by being bred down to its "toy" size there.

The Official Coat-of-Arms Crest of the Medieval Dukes of Pomerania


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