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, June 21, 2020, pg. 3

Work is rapidly progressing on the extensive remodeling of the stretch of buildings on the west side of the 400 block of S. Superior St. One of the addresses is 414 S. Superior St., adjacent to the Albion Malleable Brewing Company. For many of us, we remember this as the site of Earl Austin Studios, a well-known Albion photographer during the 1960s.

Albion had several photographers at the turn of the century; it was a popular profession at the time. One such photographer was Phillip C. Hartung (1862-1916). A carpenter by trade, he was one of numerous members of the Hartung family-clan that moved to the Albion area from their native New Jersey in the late 19th century.

Phillip opened a photography studio at 118 W. Porter St. in 1897, and moved it to 414 S. Superior St. in 1900. He remained in business there until 1909, at which time he returned to the carpentry trade until his death in 1916 at the age of 53. Phillip was quite a hunter, and enjoyed taking photographs of his family and friends on hunting trips.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph circa 1907 of the Phillip Hartung Photography wagon, horse and all. It is parked in front of his photography studio at 414 S. Superior St. Imagine having one of these wagons pull up to your wedding ceremony and reception. If you look at the retractable cloth awning on their storefront in the background, you’ll see it states "HARTUNG’S STUDIO." In this photograph we can also see the original brick Superior St. pavement (laid in 1903) and the raised sidewalk under which coal was stored to heat the adjacent buildings.

The woman in the center is Louie (Finley) Hartung (1875-1963) wife of Phillip. Her parents Theron J. & Martha (Mason) Finley and family came to Michigan from their native New York in the late 19th century. They settled east of town and Finley Road in Jackson County is named after the family. How many of our readers have old "cabinet" photographs with P.C. Hartung printed at the bottom of the photo?

Phillip Hartung Photography wagon, circa 1907


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