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, June 10, 2012, pg. 6

Special thanks to Lorene Humphrey for identifying her parents, Amelia (Stark) (1887-1968) and William H. Moss (1881-1957) on our mystery 50th wedding anniversary photo in last week's column. The Moss' were married March 21, 1907 and the photo would therefore be March, 1957. Mr. Moss worked at the Hayes Wheel Co., the City of Albion, and the Albion Malleable Iron Co. Amelia was a member of several area women's clubs.

Albion used to have several drug stores in downtown, and one which was in existence for many years was Van Gorden's. It was located at 100 S. Superior St. on the southwest corner at Cass St. Louis C. Van Gorden purchased the drugstore (begun in 1897) of Homer C. Blair on the site in early 1912, and opened under the new name of Van Gorden's in April, 1912.

Louis C. Van Gorden (1870-1939) had been a traveling representative of the wholesale Michigan Drug Company, and was a native of Eaton Rapids. He received his pharmacy degree from the University of Michigan. After purchasing the drugstore, he subsequently purchased the Palmer Montgomery Dearing family home at 519 E. Michigan Avenue. Dearing, of course, had just been incarcerated for his involvement in the Albion National Bank failure (January 1912) and the family lost their home and moved out of town.

Louis continued the "Rexall" brand of drugs that had been carried by his predecessor. His son Howell L. Van Gorden became a partner in the firm in 1923, and became sole owner in January 1939. He ran it until 1945 when it was sold to Joseph Brownridge and became Brownridge Drugs.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a mid-1940s scene of the outside of Van Gorden's drugstore. Notice the large sign painted on the side of the building. How many of our readers remember Van Gorden's Drug Store?

Mid-1940s scene of the outside of Van Gorden's drugstore


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