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 Recorder, July 14, 1997, pg. 5-A

The Irwin Block on the corner of Superior and Erie Streets has been the site of numerous restaurants through the years. Many remember it as the location of Sullivan’s when they were growing up. Presently it is the location of Franzoni’s Pizza.

This building was constructed in 1891 for Frank L. Irwin (1863-1947), local city treasurer and postmaster during the early 1900s. An interesting situation occurred during the construction of this building, as recorded in the June 19, 1891 issue of the Albion Mirror: “Quite a ripple of excitement was caused Wednesday in the cellar of the new building in the course of erection for F. L. Irwin by one of the stone masons breaking a stone from which came, as many thought, valuable diamonds. The eagerness to grab as many as possible was laughable. Each one thought himself possessed of fabulous riches, and that the toil and hardships of the world were at an end. After beholding the greed of the human race, your reporter informed them that what they were hustling into their pockets were only pyrites of iron and valueless”

In 1893 the building was remodeled to house the newly organized Commercial and Savings Bank, which operated here through 1916. At that time the bank was moved into the Jesse Crowell Stone Mill building, and today is known as Citizens Bank. The Irwin Block then became the home of the Homestead Building and Loan Association, which operated at this location from 1917 to 1931, at 401 S. Superior St.

At some point in time probably in the 1920s, the Irwin Block then became home of a restaurant which eventually became Sullivan’s Dairy Store during the 1930s. The restaurant was called “Mother’s Cupboard” and its duration was apparently short, as it does not appear in old Albion city directories.

This week we present an advertisement on an ink blotter from “Mother’s Cupboard” featuring chicken dinners for 60 cents, hamburgers fried in butter for 5 or 10 cents, and dinner plate specials for 25 cents. Of course the prices look good, don’t they?

Mother's Cupboard Advertisement


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