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 19, 1993, pg. 2

Continuing with our discourse on the 1890 Bird’s Eye View of Albion by artist Clemens J. Pauli, this week we are featuring the southwest portion of th city, south of W. Erie St., and west of Pearl St. Most of the area illustrated in this week’s issue is in the vicinity of Dalrymple School. I have taken the liberty of typing in street names on this illustration for easy identification here, which are not on the original map.

Of course the main “stand out” on this section of map is the large native forest which once extended westwards well past S. Dalrymple and S. Albion Sts. Today the only portion remaining is “Dalrymple Woods” which serves as the location of the Albio Day Care Center. Since Albionis supposed to be the “tree city,” it is important that this historic grove be preserved for future generations. Notice that Mechanic Street does not exist just south of the forest. Originally Mechanic’s Street, it was platted in August, 1890--just two months after this View was published. The street was named in honor of the industrial mechanics who worked at the local Gale and other factories who would live there in the new residential development. Construction on new homes began in September 1890, and amny of them are still in existence on Mechanic St. today.

The street shown north of the forest is not Dalrymple, but S. Albion St. It is shown ending at the woods. Dalrymple St. does not exist at this point. W. Ash St. is shown heading into a small grove of trees apparently not making it to S. Albion St. This section is where Dalrymple School was erected beginning in 1916, which opened in 1918. The southern tip of Pearl St. is shown in the upper right, ending at Ash St. Pearl was later extended one block to Elm St. South of W. Ash St. is what leter became the George Grenevitch farm just east of the Dalrymple School property. In the extreme foreground (bottom) is property that was owned by Albion banker Samuel V. Irwin, who died in February, 1890. After he died, the land was sold and platted into various southwest Albion streets.

You might have noticed that the name of Dalrymple has popped up several times in this article. Chalres Wylie Dalrymple (1838-1907) was one of the original organizers of the Albion Public Schools in 1869. He was the longest serving member of the board: a total of 39 years. A local merchant, Dalrymple served as Albion postmaster during the Civil War, and as Mayor in 1900. His home was on Pearl St., and he owned nearly all of the land which makes up the present-day Dalrymple School property. In April 1916, the board of education purchased a large tract of land for $8,000 from Hattie (Dalrymple) Day, daughter of the late Mr. Dalrympole. Constructionon the two story brick schoolhouse with ample windows and spacious rooms began in September 1916 by Frederick W. Schumacher, a local contractor. The total cost of erecting Dalrymple School was $50,000. The school was not completed until the end of 1917, and opened its doors to students on Janaury 2, 1918.

Dalrymple School was closed in June, 1982, and today remains boarded up, and only used for storage. It is too bad a building of this type in such a vital residential location could not again be used for education, as there is no neighborhood school in southwest Albion at all anymore.

As we look at each section of this 1890 Bird’s Eye View, look to see if your house or property is found on it. A good majority of Albion’s older homes were erected in the late 1880s and 1890s, and perhaps you just might find yours.

Since this time we have dealt a little about Albion’s school system, I would like to remind our readers that my book, “A History of the Albion Public Schools,” is still available for $20 plus $5 p & h [from this author: Frank Passic, 900 S. Eaton St., Albion, MI 49224]. These books contain the names of every graduate of Albion High School, and would make excellent graduation gifts, or gifts to former classmates who are returning from across the country for class reunions this summer.

* Photo Credit Information Below

1890 Bird's Eye View of Albion

More about the Birds Eye View Map of 1890


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* Photo Credit Information: Images with this code are from the
"Albion Historical Society Collection / Local History Room / Albion Public Library Collection"