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 11, 1998, pg. 2

Many people remember that the building now housing the Morning Star office at 125 E. Cass Street was once the Albion Lumber Company. A lumber firm was located here beginning in the early 1880s. It was first known as Loder & Groff, made up of builders William M. Loder (1839-1924) and John W. Groff (1844-1928). Both men were experienced carpenters, and chances are good if your house was erected in the late 19th century in Albion, one of those men probably were the contractors who erected it.

Soon afterwards, Loder established his own independent contractor business, and John Groff went into partnership with his brother Oziel (1848-1924). The firm was known as the Groff Brothers Lumber Yard. It boasted a frontage of 160 feet along E. Cass Street, and specialized in lumber, lath, shingles, and planning. It also included a blacksmith shop, and a wagon repair shop. Lumber was shipped to the firm via the Michigan Central Railroad which was located behind the facility.

In 1899 John Groff sold his interest in the firm to his brother Fred L. D. Groff (1858-1957) and to Fred Herrick (1868-1958). The firm then became known as the Groff & Herrick Planning Mill. It was reorganized into the Albion Lumber Company in February, 1904. The Albion Lumber Company continued the contracting business until 1913, when it became a retail supply firm only. The Albion Lumber Company closed in 1966.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present an 1894 photograph of the Groff Brothers Lumber Yard, which once stood on the site where the Morning Star office now sits.

Groff Brothers Lumber Yard


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