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 22, 2013, pg. 3

A very Merry Christmas to my readers of this column! Thank you for your support over the past year for providing information, historical materials and photographs to yours truly which helped make this column, and my books possible.

For many years when Santa Claus came to Albion, he came in style. He appeared on top of the Commercial and Savings Bank in downtown Albion, and came down from the roof via the Albion Fire Department aerial ladder truck. At the bottom he would be greeted by a band, and the crowd would sing Christmas carols. From the late 1940s to 1955, Santa was played by William Toussaint, who worked at the Albion Malleable Iron Company.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a 1953 photo of Santa waving from Albion’s aerial ladder holding his somewhat depleted-looking bag of gifts as he descends to the crowd. What an advertisement this could have been for the bank: Santa keeps his money in the Commercial and Savings Bank, and this photo proves it!

Santa visiting Superior Street in 1953

This photo also shows that an aerial ladder isn’t just for fighting fires. Keep that in mind when Albion receives its new aerial ladder fire truck this coming spring. The truck will be manufactured in January by Spartan Motors Chassis, Inc. in nearby Charlotte. Santa Claus paid for our new aerial ladder truck because we as a city certainly couldn’t afford it, some $900,000 worth!

Make this a memorable Christmas for you and your family and attend a Christmas program at one of our local churches. These are always enjoyable to attend along with the refreshments afterwards, but keep in mind that a chocolate chip cookie has 220 calories. If you need a last-minute Christmas gift for someone, I have copies of my three in-print books: "Albion (Postcards)," "Albion in Review", and "Growing Up in Albion" with me wherever I go, and at my house. Give me a call at (517) 629-5402 for the details. They are signed and ready to go for you and your family clan. Merry Christmas, everyone!


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