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 9, 2007, pg. 4

A reminder: Iíll have my Albion history booth in front of Citizens Bank at the Festival of the Forks on Saturday, September 22. Be sure and stop by. In addition to my Albion history books and materials, Iíll have the new limited edition first-year Amaizing Corn Harvest Festival pins available in advance of the event before they become sold out. These unusual-shaped pins are sure to attract collectors from across the country.

Coming up on Sunday, October 14 will be my annual Riverside Cemetery tour, featuring the Catholic Section of the Cemetery. The tour will begin at the former Fishpond just west of the Catholic Section.

The fishpond was constructed beginning in May, 1902 by Riverside Cemetery superintendent Otto Pahl and his brother F. Albert Pahl. The pond was surrounded by a walkway, and goldfish were placed there. The goldfish were kept in tanks at the City Water Works on E. Cass St. during the winter months. According to Albertís diary, the stones for the pond came from the farm of a Mr. Butcher. There used to be a stone pile located up the hill east/southeast of the pond near the road. One stone in the ground is all that remains there today.

During the 1970s the waterproof seal to the pond was broken during a supposed ďtreasure hunt,Ē and the pond was unused until briefly in the early 1990s when it was temporarily repaired. At that time an electric water jet was placed in the center and two benches were installed nearby. Cost of operations and other factors led the City to abandon the pond, which became a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

If you havenít been to this area in the past year or so, you are in for a surprise. In the spring of 2004, local Boy Scout Nick Peltier of Troop 172 (St. Paulís Lutheran Church) organized an effort to transform the pond into a decorative park-like setting. His Eagle Scout project was completed in the fall of 2005. This former pond contains concrete benches, angel statues and flowerpots. The project took a year and a half to complete, at a cost of about $2,000.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present an early view of the pond, circa 1905, looking towards the adjacent Catholic Section. It is very well laid-out and landscaped. Notice there is a small water fountain in the center. The rock pile is in the distance just left of center. This is a panoramic view, which distorts the background distance ratios. Iíve been able to identify most of the tombstones in the distance. One particular stone on the left is diamond-shaped, that being the stone of William Walsh (1836-1896), whom will be featured as part of my tour. You canít see this stone from the former pond today however. A maple tree has grown right in front of it, blocking the view.

The Pond circa 1905, Riverside Cemetery


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