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, January 20, 2019, pg. 5

Back in the 1920s and 1930s, one of the popular sports for boys growing up in Albion was marbles. Yes, marbles. Get out your bumblebees, cats'eyes, steelies, and shooters. This sport required being able to skillfully shoot a marble at various distances and hitting others out of the ring. The Albion Community Recreation Association sponsored its first Marbles Tournament in April, 1927. Over 300 boys competed in the event, held behind the Central School (later Washington Gardner High School) on the tennis court grounds. The event was coordinated by ACRA official Danny Kick.

There were two age divisions: junior, and senior. An elimination competition was held on Tuesday, April 5, 1927, with 37 entries. The winners who advanced were: Robert Warson, Paul Baldwin, Beryl Robinson, George Sibal, Aleck Pasick [Note: Uncle of yours truly], Vern Livingston, Gerald Ganson, Myron White, Curtis Merritt, Maxwell Goll, Walter Purnicker, Roy Biggs, Edward Schultz, Lynford Allen, Everett Cleveland, Nick Palace, Carl McCullough, and Philip Manino.

The semi-finals and finals were held on Saturday, April 9, 1927. Winning first place in the senior division was Edward Schultz, with Philip Manino taking second place. The Albion Recorder reported, "Schultz is a wonderful marble shooter, winning all his games to a large score. His ability to shoot accurately from a long distance tells the story. In the finals he knocked 10 of the 13 marbles out of the ring."

Winner of the junior division was Beryl Robinson of 202 E. Porter St., who competed against Nick Palace who received second place. The first-place winners in each division received a trophy.

A few years later, my own father was in this tournament. The Recorder reported on April 15, 1946 in its 15 Years Ago Column (1931), "From a group of 36 boys, four youths won their way to the city marbles championship matches in the Austin School elimination. LaVern Holmes and Frank Pasick were to compete in the senior division finals, and Stanley Lazarchuk and Victor Buinoswki in the junior class finals." These tournaments apparently continued until World War II.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of boys participating in that first 1927 marbles tournament, with the finalists poised on the ground prepared to shoot their marbles. The scene looks north towards Union Steel Products. How many of our readers ever participated in marbles tournaments?

Marbles tournament, April 9, 1927


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