Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, June 6, 1999, pg. 11
It was sad to learn recently about the announcement that babies could no longer be born here in Albion, but now have to be born at Foote Hospital in Jackson instead. No longer will it be feasibly possible for a person to be born and raised in Albion. Imagine having to always “explain” why another city in another county is printed on your birth certificate. It feels like again we have lost another piece of our local identity with another of what seems to have been a string of “to Jackson” or “to Battle Creek” announcements by various businesses/institutions over a period of time.
We can’t help but think in the back of our mind, “what’s next?” Such decisions can have a cumulative negative effect upon a community. People may start thinking, “Hey, as long as we’re over in this other city today, why don’t we do our shopping and eating out here, too?” Thus, our local businesses will suffer. It certainly will be a challenge for our local Albion Chamber of Commerce to encourage people to leave their wallets here when they are forced to go to other cities for various services. We wish them the best.
Actually, we wish someone would “annex” our local telephone exchange into Jackson, too. That would save Albion residents hundreds of dollars in long distance “local toll” charges. People in Albion also want to directly subscribe to the major national internet providers (without the extra long distance or high subscription charges) for just the regular normal monthly fee. We’ve got a great community, and we should be smart enough [Albion, the “smart” community....] to insist upon having the same services, benefits, and prices within our city limits that other communities enjoy and take for granted in theirs.
One historical symbol of a growing community pride and heritage was the “welcome to Albion” sign that once stood along Interstate-94 inviting persons into our community. Erected by Fritz Advertising in the early 1960s when I-94 was still new, the sign proudly declared, “Albion, Next Exit.” No slogan was needed, our name said it all. Below was a cityscape outline, with the text proudly declaring “Home of Albion College, Oil Fields, Industry.” Also our musical contributions were mentioned: “The Old Rugged Cross, The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi Written Here.”
From our Historical Notebook we present a photograph of that sign, which is what we pictured in this column when it first began ten years ago in this publication. Perhaps it is time again to erect a sign such as this along I-94, as our community looks at ways to improve its image and make positive changes toward a better future.
Welcome to Albion sign
All text copyright, 2021 © all rights reserved Frank Passic