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, October 26, 2003, pg. 16

With deer hunting season upon us, we thought it would be appropriate to feature a local hunting story. One prominent hunter in the early 20th century was Delbert Barnes (1880-1957) who lived at 216 W. Elm St. Born east of Albion in Jackson County, his parents were Myron and Clarissa (Cuatt) Barnes. Del worked as a motorman for the Michigan Electric Railway in the 1910s and 1920s, and later at the Albion Malleable Iron Company. Del’s son Rex (born in 1920, graduated Albion High School Class of 1938) now lives in Florida and supplied us with an interesting story to pass along to our readers.

Del would host an annual “hunting party” into the Upper Peninsula with some of his friends, typical of many area hunters in the early 20th century. Their hunting location was near Channing in the western part of the U.P. To get to the site, the party would take the train to Chicago and up through Wisconsin into Michigan. A local guide would then take the hunters and their gear from the town general store, to their campsite 12 miles away: either by horse and wagon, or by sleigh, depending upon the weather conditions. By time the two-week season was over, everyone had gotten a deer. The men drew straws to see who would walk back 12 miles to town to get the guide to come and get them and the deer.

The men would return to Albion with several bucks with large antlers. They would rig up an “A-frame” display stand in front of the Henry Tuchtenhagen Chrysler Dealership & Garage at 415 S. Superior St (presently the site of Homestead Savings Bank). Albion residents would come and peer at the display of several deer hanging in front of this downtown Albion business. This was a novelty at the time and was quite an attraction. The deer would be on display for two or three days. They were then taken to the Michigan Artificial Ice Plant on Barnes St. for short-term storage in their cold storage room.

There would subsequently be a venison banquet for all the area hunters and their families, which was held at the Hayes Wheel Company recreation clubhouse at Duck Lake, erected in 1926. There the venison was prepared and eaten, and hunting tales were exchanged during the annual feast.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photo of the hunters and the deer on display in front of Tuchtenhagen’s Garage, around 1927. Left to right: Delbert Barnes, Bill Kopp (1891-1980), Floyd Landon (1895-1963), Charlie Brandt (1889-1971), and one-armed Charles Kopp (1880-1960). The deer are unidentified.

Deer Hunters, circa 1927


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