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 6, 2010, pg. 3

We see that plans are going ahead with plans to turn the Rieger Park pond into a four-feet deep swimming area. It will be welcome to know that ice skating will be available again in the future, and swimming available for the first time.

It was in the summer of 1954 that the City of Albion dug out the area for the pond, on what had formerly been the abandoned Consumer‘s Power Company "raceway stream which fed the power plant across the street. The Albion Exchange Club helped put together the skating shelter in September, 1954. This gave it that rustic log cabin "up north look. The American Legion donated the fireplace. The pond was enlarged further during the summer of 1955.

The park was named in honor of retired Albion City Engineer (and future mayor) Hugo A. Rieger in August 1955. There was a sign at the entrance to Rieger Park near E. Erie St. which also had that "up north rustic look. From our this week we present that sign as it looked when it was installed in 1955. There was a plaque on it which stated, "Dedicated in honor of H.A. Rieger, Albion City Engineer 1931-1955. Plaque presented by Albion Exchange Club. FYI: I drove by there the other day and noticed that the original sign base was cut, and a new lower sign was placed in front of it along with the plaque.

There was a ceremony at the Albion band shell in Victory Park in August 1955, in which the sign was unveiled before being placed in Rieger Park. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photo of that presentation. Left to right: Hugo Rieger; John Bentley, city clerk; Laurence Burden, assistant fire chief; and Vernon Baldwin of the Albion Exchange club.

Ceremony at the Albion Band Shell in Victory Park, August 1955

Rieger Park sign, ca 1955

The last time I was in the skating shelter at Rieger Park is when I went skating sometime in the 1980s. I wonder how it will look when it is remodeled and updated?

Next: 1978-79 RIVER DREDGING

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