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 11, 1995, pg. 14

On Saturday, May 20, approximately 20 boy scouts from local Troop 172 cleaned up a relatively unknown area cemetery north of town. This was an Eagle Scout Project for Matthew Lykins, age 14. The cemetery is the Reed Cemetery, located in the center of Section 12 of Sheridan Township, east of the former Gay School on 29 Mile Road, or north of H. Drive North.

The cemetery consists of a couple of acres, with approximately 50-75 burials of area farmers, their families, and children from the 1840s to 1906. The property, now owned by William Collier, was originally settled by Asa W. Reed (1825-1891), a native of New York who came to the Albion area in 1839. He purchased the property and settled the land in 1840, where he remained until his death. His wife, Fidelia Gay (1828-1893), was the daughter of John Gay who owned adjacent property on present-day 29 Mile Road. Gay School was named for him.

Numerous Reed and Gay family descendants are buried in this cemetery, which had been forgotten and abandoned for years until the scouts embarked on this worthy project. With chain saws (operated by their leaders Dan Lykins, Sam Kulikowski, Mike Bearman and Bob Sprouse), rakes, saws, and axes, the group cleaned, cleared, and raked the cemetery, uprighted fallen tombstones and stabilized them with braces, and prepared it for members of the Calhoun County Genealogical Society to begin their important work of transcribing the various markers.

Under the direction of Ruth Kaiser, CCGS cemetery project chairperson, their newsletter editor Sandy Redmond from Athens, and her assistant Nancy Hibiske brought to the cemetery what good genealogists bring when transcribing tombstones: shaving cream! Thatís right. You rub it over the stone, then wipe it with your car window scraper, using the soft rubber end. The end result is a very clear impression of the previously hard-to-read inscription!

From our Historical Notebook this week we picture Sandy Redmond with Matthew Lykins, afer having "creamed" the tombstone of RUAMY (thatís her name) WELLS, wife of Caleb Wells, who died September 2, 1888 at the age of 44 years, 3 months, 7 days. Notice how well the inscription reads after it has been "treated."

On the bottom of the tombstone in small print is one of those quaint little verses which quite often appeared on tombstones across the country during the period. It goes like this: "Remember friends, as you pass by, As you are now, so once was I. As I am, now so you must be. Prepare for death, and follow me."

In one particular cemetery (not here), an anonymous person etched a reply which stated: "To follow you, Iím not content--until I find out, where you went."

If you are interested in information about who is buried in the cemetery, contact Ruth Kaiser of the Calhoun County Genealogical Society. Transcriptions have been made of all the etched tombstones. Surnames include: Wells, Spaulding, Wines, Wakelin, Henty, Reed, Tibbits, Hall, Langridge, Williams, Ellis, and Boyd.

Sandy Redmond with Matthew Lykins at Reed Cemetery


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