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, April 17, 2016, pg. 9

There has been much talk in recent weeks about coming together as a community regarding the upcoming May 3 special school annexation election. I hope youíre getting your absentee ballot if necessary. The countdown has begun. Donít forget.

In the mid-1960s, Albion was searching for some type of celebration to bring our community together, and chose a theme of Frontier Days. That theme had proved quite successful in Charlotte up there in Eaton County, so why not try it here? Albionís Frontier Days celebrations were held in the springs of 1965 and 1966. It featured the "Old West" theme with cowboys, cowgirls, horses, wagons, and other such nonsense.

One Frontier Days "event" if you could call it that, was the "jail" located on W. Center St. next to Cascarelliís. Albion merchants were placed there if they did not wear western-style clothing during the three-day event. They had to pay a fine of $1 to get out.

On the 50th anniversary next month of the final Albion Frontier Days, from our Historical Notebook this week we present a May 20, 1966 photograph of two prisoners, (left to right) Clarence Barnes of City Bank & Trust Company, and Blair Bedient of the Albion Evening Recorder. They are being monitored by Frontier Days Deputy Marshall L. J. Rutz. If you look closely at the jail gate, it was supplied by Citizenís Lumber Company.

Frontier Days was a flop. The majority of persons went away grumbling at the final Frontier Days event, which was an auction using Frontier Days money. Items went for outrageous prices, which was not what people had expected or planned for. This festival was planned to provide a spirit of celebration and unity, and of course to bring in a shopping bonanza to downtown Albion. In the final analysis, Frontier Days just didnít "fit right" for Albion. Imagine having this type of western theme each year in Albion today. Arenít you glad that the Festival of the Forks came along?

Two prisoners, (left to right) Clarence Barnes and Blair Bedient, monitored by Frontier Days Deputy Marshall L. J. Rutz.


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