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 17, 2015, pg. 6

A reminder: If your Albion High School class is having a reunion this summer, why not have copies of my Albion history books available at your event? Please contact me at (517) 629-5402 or Albionfp@hotmail.com for further information. My books "Growing Up in Albion," and "A History of the Albion Public Schools" have been especially popular. Also available are "Albion in Review," and "Albion [Postcards]."

Back in the summer of 1939, the Calhoun County Health Department and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation sponsored a sanitary survey of Albion, focusing on home hygiene, water quality, sewage disposal, and dairy products. A researcher went throughout our town, taking readings and acquiring factual information, as well as interviewing local residents. The person who was assigned that task in Albion was a "Student Sanitarian" by the name of George G. Fassnacht. His report containing the results of his findings during his three month stay in the area makes interesting reading.

Did you know that the land upon which contains the now-closed Harrington School on N. Clark St. was once the site of the so-called "Albion City Dump" in the 1930s and 1940s? In fact, Albion’s early 20th century street lights were subsequently buried there when they were replaced in later years. Many Albion people would use the dump to dispose of their unwanted items.

The "City Dump" (then outside the city limits) is described and pictured on page 21 of Fassnacht’s report. Special thanks to Gerald Dean for supplying us with the report and the photographs contained therein.

Fassnacht writes: "From pictures and previous reports I had derived a very poor impression of Albion’s City Dump. In fact, the day I went to see it I was directed to ‘go on down this road until you smell it.’ I was glad to say that in mid-summer, at least, this dump was in a very respectable condition. Refuse was being sorted, inflammables burned, and the top of the dump kept clean and covered."

"The man who supervises the dump gets all the salvage he can find but is paid no salary or wage. He is paid 50¢ for each dead dog or cat he buries. The present supervisor has been working since spring. One of his first jobs was to bury fourteen dead dogs which were exposed on the top of the dump."

"The condition of a dump, as of a house or a city, seems to be largely a matter of good housekeeping."

Albion also had other areas which served as dumping grounds. Fassnacht writes (Pg. 20): "58.4% of the people threw their garbage to the chickens, spread it on the garden, or put it on some dump. The dump so honored might be anyone’s vacant lot. Spots that I know of are the City Dump at the east end of Burns St. [Harrington School site], various spots along the old Interurban fill behind Bilicke’s Service Station on Austin Avenue, and in an old cellar excavation beside Company House No. 23 [Albion Malleable Iron Company housing on N. Albion St.]"

From our Historical Notebook this week, for the first time ever, we present a 1939 photograph of the Albion City Dump where Harrington School now sits. Remember you saw it here first. In this photo you can see the "hill" of refuse, with a truck and trailer in the far distance disposing of more items at the site. How many of our readers remember the dump where Harrington School now sits?

1939 Albion City Dump where Harrington School now sits.


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