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, December 7, 2003, Pg. 17

I’m now down to the last box of my book “Albion in the 20th Century.” If you want to give one of these as a gift to someone for Christmas, they are available at the Albion Chamber of Commerce, or from yours truly.

Last week in this column we mentioned that there used to be a Christmas tree that was placed in the middle of S. Superior St. at the intersection with Ash St. This week from our Historical Notebook we present a photograph from about 1954 (I don’t have the exact date) showing that tree, which can be seen on the far left in back of a girl’s scout group who are holding a white flag. How many of our readers can remember a tree being placed there? The center of the photo shows a float featuring a chimney with a Santa image at the top. The sign states, “T’was the Night Before Christmas.” Any guess as to the identities of those driving the tractor in front? In the background of course is the quaint little Sinclair Gas Station at 500 S. Superior St., operated by Verne Winfield. On the right is the Albion Theatre which closed in 1959.

Circa 1954 Christmas Parade in Downtown Albion

We continue with our theme of “Albion--100 Years Ago.” Week ending December 10, 1903: “Rev. Brownlow preached Sunday evening on the subject, ‘Shall we or shall we not dance?’ The east church was filled above and below. Next Sunday evening, card playing will receive a similar fate. The special meetings will be continued through this week.”

Week ending December 17, 1903: “The upper stories of the Sheldon Block are now vacant. It ought to be converted into an up-town hotel, with office on the ground floor and elevator.”

Week ending December 24, 1903: “Obituaries. The ranks of Albion’s pioneers are becoming so depleted that only here and there is one left. Now another has fallen by the way, one who having lived more than fourscore years was reading and waiting for the reaper. After an illness of long duration, resulting in blindness, and about three weeks ago in paralysis, which rendered her unconscious, Mrs. Caroline Marie (Grosvernor) Hovey closed her eyes in death at 11 o’clock last Saturday night.” “Charles C. Reed died in Detroit, Tuesday morning from paralysis, and the remains were brought here this forenoon for burial. Mr. reed was one of a long list of notable telegraph operators, who learned the clickers and went out from Albion. The late Miss Octavia Bradbury was his instructor. About the time of the breaking out of the Civil War he was deputy postmaster here.”

Week ending December 31, 1903: “Three links. Albion, Devereux and Springport in the Chain of Communication. There is no electric road between Albion and Devereaux and Springport, nevertheless, the people of these places are very neighborly. The last issue of the Springport Signal mentions the following names of persons from that place who visited Albion during the week before Christmas.”

Read more Albion 100 Years Ago articles.

Next 100 Years Ago article: JANUARY 1904


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