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.

Albion 100 Years Ago - December 1899

Morning Star, December 12, 1999, pg. 15

We continue with our theme of "Albion 100 Years Ago" as we review what was happening locally during the last month of the 19th century. As I reviewed the local news for December 1899 anticipating some excitement about entering a new century, I surprisingly found none. This makes me believe that "New Year’s" was not as prominent a holiday as we make it out to be today.

News summary of the week prior to December 7: "John Groff is erecting a building on E. Cass St. It is to be 18 x 38 feet and two stories in height. He will convert it into a factory for turning out ax and hammer handles [NOTE: Today this is the site of the Morning Star office]."

"Several of the residents of Burr Oak Street celebrated Thanksgiving by slaughtering the occupants of their pig pens." "The Single Spinsters’ Literary Club given by the ladies of the E.L.T. Club on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings was a great success in every particular. Laughter reigned supreme throughout the entire evening, induced by the comical costumes and the burlesque program of the club."

Week ending December 14: "I wonder how many of our citizens ever pause to consider the wonderful benefit which Albion College is to our city, in various ways--mental, moral and financial. Too often we take these good things to which we so soon become accustomed, as a matter of course and overlook the great and lasting food which comes from them. For more than half a century there has emanated from the classic halls on college hill an intellectual and moral atmosphere which has done much to raise the standard of life in our city, to broaden its nature, and to establish a culture whose value can be appreciated best by comparing Albion to some non-college town."

Week ending December 21: "A peculiar phenomenon was witnessed about 3 miles NW of Springport last week Sunday morning when a portion of the public highway suddenly sank out of sight, heaving up a portion of earth at one side of the road to a height of 20 feet. Efforts were made to find the bottom of this sink hole but it appeared to be bottomless. There are many conjectures as to the true cause of the sink, some claiming an underground channel between the lakes, others that it is simply a small inland lake that has grown over. This portion of the road has always been a source of trouble and expense to the township." [NOTE: This was known as the "Ponto Sink Hole" on U Drive North (the adjoining farmland was owned by Frank Ponto) which "rolled over" on December 10, 1899] From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of the Ponto Sink Hole."

Ponto Sink Hole

Read more Albion 100 Years Ago articles.

Next 100 Years Ago article: JANUARY 1900


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