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, September 24, 1995, pg. 12

A couple of weeks ago our article about the Russian Baptist Church brought back memories to older Albion residents who attended there as children. This week we are featuring another defunct Albion church which by accident I discovered had once been in existence.

In 1918, the Sanborn Map Company of New York City prepared an “insurance map” of Albion, which was used in determining rates for the city. It drew outlines of every house in town, listing the type of construction, the nearest hydrant, types of heating used, and similar types of information.

On the southwest corner of N. Clinton and W. Michigan Avenue where a billboard now stands, was once the Albion Chemical Works. The building, addressed 201 W. Michigan Avenue, and 215 N. Clinton Street, had originally been erected in 1902 as a gasoline engine plant which shortly thereafter closed. The Union Steel Screen Company moved to the facility when it came to Albion in 1905 and was there for several years.

A drawing of this building appears on the aforementioned 1918 map, in which is written: “Albion Chemical Works. Oil & Grease Compounding. No watchman. Heat: Stove & Steam. Power and lights: electric. Dry powder and fire buckets. 50 feet 2˝ inches of hose under glass.” No doubt this site might make a great place for DNR soil sample testing.

Attached to the rear of the plant on the west is depicted a smaller building numbered “209” (W. Michigan Avenue) which is labeled, “The Assembly of God Church.” That’s right! The local Assembly of God Church on B Drive along I-94 celebrated its 50th anniversary a couple of years ago, but the one on this 1918 map far predates the Assembly in existence today. This discovery came as a total surprise. This would make the 1918 Assembly of God the first Pentecostal Church in Albion, predating the Gospel Union Tabernacle which operated here in the 1930s.

The 1918 map shows that the Assembly building was heated by a stove, and that it had electric lights. Because it was attached to a factory, most likely the congregation was renting the facility. Does anyone know anything about this surprise 1918 Assembly of God Church in Albion?

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a portion of this huge 1918 map, clearly showing the Assembly of God Church attached to the rear (left, west) of the Albion Chemical Works. to the left of the site would be the Albion Gas Light Company on N. Eaton Street and a coal shed. To the north is found a spur railroad track, present site of the paved W. Michigan Avenue south of the railroad depot.

If you would like me to feature some more interesting details from this map in the future here in our Historical Notebook, let me know.

Map of Albion in 1918


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