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, May 11, 2014, pg. 3

Congratulations to Dr. James L. Curtis for the honorary Doctor of Science degree presented him by the University of Michigan at its commencement program on May 3. Many Albion persons attended the ceremony and/or the reception afterwards. A 1940 graduate of Albion High School and a 1944 graduate of Albion College, Dr. Curtis had a distinguished career in psychiatry for more than 50 years. A new school at the U of M School of Social Work has been named in honor of Dr. Curtis and his late wife Vivian.

Albion is fortunate to have that elaborate play area in Victory Park. It was a great community project we all joined in to help build, and an investment in our community infrastructure. Years ago however the main play objects there in the park were the jungle gym, a slide, and a merry-go-round. The jungle gym was a favorite climbing object everyone enjoyed. It was what it was. There was no handicapped entrance, no safety straps, and no helmets required. You just climbed up and down, simple as that. If you got hurt, you went home.

Back on May 29, 1953, the Albion Junior Chamber of Commerce auxiliary presented a check of $300 to the Albion City Recreation Department for the purchase of a new jungle gym and a 16-foot slide there in the park. The funds came from money raised from a benefit cart party and a ballet program held that spring.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of the civic project committee of the JCC, along with their children who are "testing" the new equipment in this scene. In the front from left to right are the following persons as identified at the time in the Recorder: Mrs. Edmund Short, chairperson; Harry Williams, director of the city recreation department; Mrs. Richard Hamm, and Mrs. Daryl Kingsnorth.

Next the two girls sitting on the lower center rungs are Gina and Cathy Helrigel, followed by their mother, Mrs. William Helrigel. The last woman on the right is Mrs. Robert Schultz. Back in those days women were listed according to the first name of her husband. My, how times have changed.

How many of our readers remember the jungle gym at Victory Park?

The New Victory Park Play Equipment, June 1, 1955


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