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, February 22, 1998, pg. 28

Iíve recently been looking at some photographs of some Albion houses taken around 1895 and have been comparing those photographs with how those houses look today--if they are still standing. It is amazing to consider that many of our houses in town once had decorative "gingerbread" ornamentation around the roofs, proches, and railings. These eventually became "out of fashion" and were gradually removed through the years, but in recent years these embellishments have made a fashionable comeback and are desirable part of any historic house.

One such house is located at 708-710 N. Superior Street on the east side of the street, across from the intersection with Austin Avenue. This historically was the home of one of 19th century Albionís prominent citizens, Augustus J. Gale (1834-1923). "A.J." as he was known, ws the son of George and Harriet (Stone) Gale, and was part of the Gale clan which founded and operated the Gale Manufacturing Company. A.J. served on the first Albion Union Schools board, was Village President in 1877, was a member of Albionís first fire department "The Alert," was a heavy investor in the Albion Gas Light Company, and was superintendent of the Elms Buggy Company. A picture of "A.J." appears in my book, A History of the Albion Public Schools, page 7.

A.J. and his wife Julia Anne (Morley) Gale (1834-1919) moved to Ontario, California in 1907, where they lived out their retirement years. There they farmed two orange groves. They are buried in Bellevue Cemetery in Ontario, California, although a tombstone was previously made for A.J. here in Albion at Riverside Cemetery in the Gale family plot, and was later inscribed with his death date.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present an 1895 photograph of the Augustus J. Gale house at 710 N. Superior Street. Notice all the embellishments attached to the house at that time.

Augustus J. Gale House, 1895


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