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, November 3, 1997, pg. 4

Last week in this column we featured the Gale Manufacturing Company building on the northwest corner of Cass and Superior Streets. The building was subsequently used by the newly organized Albion Malleable Iron Company during the 1890s, and then demolished.

In its place a new mercantile office building was constructed in 1900, called the Parker-Kessler block. Warren Scott Kessler (1845-1933) was the founder of the Albion Malleable Iron Company. His step-son was Harry B. Parker (1889-1936), who served as the Malleable’s vice-president and general manager for many years. If the name Parker sounds familiar, it should. The Parker Inn was constructed in 1926 to replace the Hotel Albion, and served Albion’s hotel needs for many years. Mr. Parker also donated the land for the site of City Hall.

The Parker-Kessler block served various needs during its existence. It just a few years it will be 100 years old. It has been used as Albion’s post office, and a various times has contained mercantile shops, Masonic Lodge rooms, a bowling lane on the second floor, and offices. Today the building houses Albion Floor Covering and Discount Daves.

This week we present a photograph taken during the 1930s when there was still diagonal parking in downtown Albion. The stores look somewhat vacant, evidence of the Depression that was in progress. The main window proclaims “Better Housing Show, Albion.” On the far right we see a store with an awning. This is the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A & P), which also had a store where Sander’s Furniture is today.

Parker-Kessler Building, Downtown Albion 1930s


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