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 5, 2004, pg. 2

As we begin the month of December, let me remind our readers that my Albion history books and materials make great Christmas gifts to family and friends. Stop by the Albion Chamber of Commerce and pick out something you think would be appreciated. My book “Albion in the 20th Century” has been reprinted with corrections, and even my Riverside Cemetery tour booklets make interesting reading as stocking stuffers. Also, please remind your visiting relatives that my Albion history articles are published on the www.albionmich.com website.

As we start this festive month, from our Historical Notebook this week we present an early 1960s-era photo of Santa Claus. He is descending from the roof of City Bank and Trust Company where his sleigh and reindeer were parked. Santa is being helped down by the Albion Fire Department, and in gratitude Santa subsequently treated them to a grape Nehi soda-pop at Hunter’s Party Store next door. Notice the large decorative columns railing at the top of the bank. These were ordered removed as well as numerous overhanging cornices in downtown Albion in the early 1960s.

1960s-Era Photo of Santa Claus in Downtown Albion

We continue with our theme of “Albion-100 Years Ago.” Week ending December 1, 1904: “Mr. Stephen Tooley, living 6 miles north of Albion, narrowly escaped serious injury, from a young horse Friday. He was driving across the Lake Shore tracks on Mulberry St. when the horse he was driving became frightened at approaching cars, made a short turn, and spilt the driver out on the rails in front of the approaching train. Only the promptness of action of Mr. Tooley saved him from catastrophe.”

“The fire boys were called out shortly after eight Friday night to put out a blaze at 707 S. Ionia. When they had reached S. Ionia, it was found that the fire was a 710 N. Ionia, and they were forced to cross the city to get to the scene of action. Luckily the blaze was a small one, an outhouse on the George Dean grounds, and it was put out without much effort. It would seem that a fire alarm system that could not be misunderstood would in the long run save the property owners of the city much money.”

Week ending December 8, 1904: “At 7 o’clock last evening the Lansing Presbytery held a special meeting in the church at the corner of Porter and Monroe Sts, preparatory to the installation service for the new pastor, Rev. C. E. Scott.”

Week ending December 14, 1904: “Jack Spratt, not the one of Mother Goose fame, was arraigned in Justice McCutcheon’s court Saturday night and was given 30 days in jail for getting drunk and playing the wild Irishman on Albion’s streets on Saturday.”

“William Bemer, the blacksmith on Michigan Ave., was quite severely injured Monday afternoon, while shoeing a horse of William Young. The horse objected to Mr. Bemer’s ministrations, kicked savagely two or three times, and when Mr. Bemer recovered consciousness, he had a long cut above his right eye, a badly bruised leg, and the clothing that he wore was hanging in rags.”

Week ending December 29, 1904: “Old settler dies. With the death of Charles Ensign, Albion loses one of her oldest settlers. Ensign was born in Java, NY in 1828 and came to Calhoun County and Albion when he was 16. He was one of a family of 12 and work was a necessity to him. He was apprenticed to James Monroe who owned a foundry and learned the trade of a moulder.”


More Albion 100 Years Ago Articles

Albion 100 Years Ago: January 1905

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