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, August 9, 2009, Pg. 6

In addition to being available at the Albion Chamber of Commerce, my new book “Albion in Review” is now available at the General Store & Hardware; at Books & More, and at Five Points Veterinary Hospital. Have you gotten your copy of my new book yet?

I see that the original cornerstone at St. James’s Episcopal Church has been put back, and an opening left for a cornerstone box with contents. There are several buildings across Albion that have cornerstones where items have been placed inside. One of them is the 1922-built Central High School building addition, now known as the Washington Gardner Middle School.

This portion of the WG facility was completed in 1922. If you look at the corner of the building, southwest side, you’ll see the a large piece of white limestone which states, “HIGH SCHOOL, 1922.” This marker was the gift of the Class of 1922, and was dedicated on June 9, 1922 in an elaborate ceremony. Clinton Austin presented this memorial representing the class.

Furthermore, there were a few specific items placed inside a copper cornerstone box, and these items still remain there today. They were officially placed in the box by class member Alberta Pritchard. Here is the list: 1) A copy of the Albion Evening Recorder from December 1921 announcing plans for the new building; 2) a school board directory listing the names of teachers and classes; and 3) a 1922 commencement program. President of the school board was George E. Dean; superintendent was Donald Harrington, and the special speaker that day was Dr. Samuel Dickie of Albion College.

At the 1922 ceremony, Miss Elaine Abbott “christened the stone with a cup of water--a symbol of life, purity and truth,” according to the Albion Evening Recorder. Ponder this, however: I bet it was “Albion water, full of rust and impurities at the time.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photo of that cornerstone. How many other cornerstones in Albion contain “stuff” inside them?

This cornerstone marker was the gift of the Class of 1922


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