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, February 19, 2017, pg. 3

In our article two weeks ago about the "Prohibition Parade," you may have noticed two buildings on the southeast corner of S. Superior and E. Ash Streets.

Albion once had several tombstone makers who performed their craft right in town. One of them was George F. Barry (1855-1925) (Note: not Bury). George was a native of nearby Marengo who moved here as an infant with his parents. George went into business with Lewis Sebastian in the firm Barry & Sebastian in the 1890s across from the railroad depot on W. Michigan Avenue. George’s brother Albert (1856-1927) had his own marble firm at 114 E. Michigan Avenue during the same period.

Shortly after the turn of the century the two Barry brothers left their previous firms and established the Barry & Barry Marble & Granite at 501-505 S. Superior St. They made all types of marble and granite monuments, tablets and markers, selling, engraving and delivering tombstones to nearby Riverside Cemetery and beyond. Their two buildings had originally been the blacksmith shop, and the carriage and wagon shop and shop of pioneer Josiah Wright (1813-1898), which was taken over by Samuel Marshall until the Barry’s purchased the property in the early 1900s.

George lived at 407 Arthur St. where he lived with his wife Sophia Houck and two sons, Ralph and Palmer. The family were members of the local First Baptist Church. Albert resided at 220 Austin Avenue with his wife Nina and three children. Albert subsequently left the firm and went into the coal and feed business. George retired during World War I.

When you visit Riverside Cemetery in Albion, you may wish to look for the "BARRY ALBION" marking on the bases of various tombstones. From our Historical Notebook this week we present one such tombstone, along with a close-up of that 1909 photograph of the 501-515 corner of E. Ash and S. Superior Streets. The sign on the corner building states "BARRY & BARRY Marble & Granite Dealers."The sign on the second building declares, "BLACKSMITHING,"and "HORSESHOEING."

Barry tombstone company inscription mark

Barry tombstone manufacturer, 505 S Superior St., 1909

Next: Albion 100 Years Ago - MARCH 1917

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