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 30, 2017, pg. 8

For various reasons, it has been a number of years now since I have given public presentations about Albion history. I have concentrated mainly upon research and writing since discontinuing my annual Riverside Cemetery tours several years ago. I will be coming out of hibernation on Tuesday, May 2 at 7:00 pm at the new Sterling Books & Brew bookstore, 119 N. Superior St. on their ribbon-cutting day.

My presentation will be entitled "Around the World With Gwen Dew." Gwen (1903-1993) was a remarkable woman born and raised here in Albion, who became a celebrated journalist, writer, traveler, and photographer. A 1920 graduate of Albion High School, Gwen attended Albion College for three years before transferring to the University of Michigan her Senior year in order to get her Journalism certificate in 1924. Her first job after graduation was as "society editor" at the Albion Evening Recorder. Needless to say, she moved on to bigger and better things in the years to come. Gwen is listed as a famous person on the www.Findagrave.com website.

I have written about Gwen many times over the past twenty years in this and other columns, including a front page story in Michigan History magazine (March/April 1999 cover story). If you want to "bone up" on these, my articles have been republished on the www.albionmich.com website, see the list at the end of the linked article. Also, you can just type in Gwen’s name in the search engine and you’ll get a list of these articles which can be easily accessed on that website.

My lecture will be a "power point" presentation (my first) consisting of over 75 photographs from Gwen’s personal estate, including some fantastic photographs never seen before publicly here in Albion. We’ll learn about her many adventures, her early life in Albion, her World War II experiences, and her life following World War II. There will also be a big surprise for all those attending my presentation. It would behoove you to attend this.

In 1936 and 1937, Gwen traveled around the world writing weekly feature articles about her experiences for the Detroit News in its Sunday feature editions. She gained a large readership and a reputation as an accredited news correspondent. In almost two years she had visited 18 countries and traveled more than 50,000 miles.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present Gwen Dew returning from overseas and getting off the plane at City Airport in Detroit on July 16, 1937. Here she is holding one of the numerous dolls she collected on her around-the-world trip. Gwen wrote on the back of this photograph that this was one of her favorite photos.

Special thanks to Jim Stuart of Sterling Books & Brew for his encouragement, and for hosting this event. I’ll see you there. What did Gwen Dew? Why, whatever she wanted to, and she accomplished it, too!

Gwen Dew, Arrival in Detroit on July 16, 1937

Next: Albion 100 Years Ago - MAY 1917

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