Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, April 19, 2015, pg. 9
With the anticipated erected of a new hotel in downtown Albion this summer, I thought I’d feature in this column some of the buildings on that block that have already been demolished, or are about to be. Albion once had several automobile dealerships on the edges of the downtown business district. The block where the new hotel is to be erected.
Our featured business was the Albion Auto Sales, owned by F. Leonard Shiels. His wife Myrna served as bookkeeper for the firm. It was first located at 118 W. Porter St. in the late 1940s. This is the Albion Interfaith Ministries building which is scheduled to be demolished as part of the hotel project. We’ll write about that later.
Albion Auto Sales was our local Chrysler-Plymouth dealership. On April 30, 1954 their moved their business northwards across the alley into the former Staker Motor Sales location at 119 W. Center St. This cement block building was down the street from the Albion Evening Recorder on the southeast corner of Center and Clinton Sts.
Albion Auto Sales was at that location only a few years. In the 1957 Albion City Directory they are listed at 1002 Austin Avenue, selling used cars only. Kretschman Pontiac was listed at the 119 W. Center St. location in the 1957 Directory. Dodge and Plymouth automobiles were then being sold at Campbell Auto Sales at 118 N. Superior St. The Center St. building eventually fell into the hands of the Albion Evening Recorder, which utilized it before closing its operations on W. Center St. The building was used for storage for several years until being demolished.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present an August, 1954 photograph of the Chrysler-Plymouth dealership at 119 W. Center St. with its sign mounted on the corner of the building. The window states "Check All 3 and See!" Maybe it referred to the three cars it could hold inside. In the distance you can see the Michigan Bell Telephone Company office, erected in 1948, where you paid your phone bill. How many of our readers remember the Chrysler dealership at this location?
1954 Chrysler-Plymouth dealership at 119 W. Center St.
Next: DOG POUND
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