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, January 21, 1996, pg. 5

Occasionally here in our Historical Notebook, we like to take our column "on the road" and feature interesting tidbits form our Morning Star distribution area. Today we are going to Tokyo. No, not Tokyo Japan, but Tokio north of Marengo! On the northeast corner of 23 Mile Road and J Drive North in Marengo Township once stood a neighborhood grocery store combination gas station during the 1920s. It was known as Tokio, or Tokio Corners. Operated by the Frank Budd family, it operated until the Great Depression arrived in 1930. The combination store and home was built on land originally part of the 19th century Charles A. Miller farm. During the 1900s, a 10 acre strip was sold to M. Kimmel, upon which the house/station was erected.

The store consisted of the family home, a general merchandise section, and an old style gas pump with the big glass bubble on top. The building is no longer used as a store or service station. Today it is the home of Larry Young.

Just south of Tokio on 23 Mile Road on the curve was the Sampson School and Sampson Cemetery, named after the property owner, B. L. Sampson. This is a very remote area, and is located southwest of the Rice Creek community. Some Sunday afernoon exclaim that you are "driving to Tokio," and take your family there for a look-see.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a 1920s plat map of Marengo Township, clearly showing the name Tokio. The store was located in the corner of Section One. I have placed a star on the site. This is the only map bearing the Tokio name. Next week we’ll travel to another portion of eastern Calhoun County here in our Historical Notebook.

Special thanks to Jaw W. Hoffman and Kenny Short for supplying me with information for this week’s article.

Tokio, Michigan


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