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 23, 2020, pg. 10

Albion's "most photographed" disaster was the Great Flood of March, 1908. Numerous postcards and photos were produced capturing the vivid destruction of a portion of downtown Albion. In February 1908, over 60 inches of snow fell, followed by a heat wave. In early March came heavy rains, and the waters of the Kalamazoo River rose to record heights. An all-night rain on Friday, March 6 raised the rushing waters to 8 feet by Saturday noon. At 3:00 pm. that afternoon the Homer dam broke, sending an additional five-foot wave of water and ice chunks headed towards downtown Albion. By midnight the water had risen to18 inches over the deck of the Cass St. bridge. Six buildings on N. Superior St. collapsed, resulting in over $125,000 in damage. Merchants had to relocate or go out of business.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present an unusual view of the beginnings of the collapse of all of the buildings over the Kalamazoo River. On the center left are two side-by-side merchants wedged into one collapsed building section. They were 107 and 109 N. Superior St., home of E. C. Deyoe Grocery and Robert Cascarelli Fruit Stand, respectively.

Moving right, the roof is collapsed into the jewelry store of Robert F. Church at 111 N. Superior St. The Morse Clothing Store at 113 would soon be gone too, as well as the Temple Theatre at 113 which collapsed after this photograph was taken. In the center of N. Superior St. is an ominous "sinkhole" forming, which would soon send Albion's original brick street in this location into the churning waters below. How many of our readers have old postcards depicting the Flood of 1908?

The Great Flood of March, 1908: 107 and 109 N. Superior St.

Next: Albion 100 Years Ago - MARCH 1920

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