Albion Michigan Branding 2019

Albion Michigan Branding Input session May 2019
Albion Michigan Branding Input session at Washington Gardner School May 2019

The Community of Albion received a special branding consultation in May 2019.

This was a 3-day process with a consultant, Ben Muldrow of Arnett Muldrow & Associates of Greenville, North Carolina,  flying in, touring the community, interviewing people, and getting input.

The result was a “Branding Reveal” that took place at Albion District Library on Thursday, May 16, 2019.

The consultant, Muldrow, identified some of the most memorable ways that our community is already sharing our city name and favorite colors.

The video of the reveal includes many interesting facts about Albion, and how the people feel at home here. It also mentions some of the reasons why we sometimes feel disconnected.

The consultant will be receiving feedback from the Branding Task Force Committee and finalizing a “Branding Tool Kit” that will be available for any organization or individual in the community to use.  This will be a work in progress and will adapt for different uses and times.

One example he mentioned to show that Albion is a Hub of Trails, and also has 21 bridges is shown below.

 

Click the image above to see the one hour video of the “Reveal” presentation, or use the link below.

http://bit.ly/albion_branding_2019


There is also a pdf slide show without the voice over that is faster to preview. Click the image below for the multi-page pdf presentation.

or use this link below.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/f1csbv9wivpejlk/19-MI-Albion.pdf?dl=0

Watch for more information here after the article in the Recorder newspaper is published.

 

Albion Prime Images

Goodrich Chapel, Albion College

We couldn’t show the famous Albion images without showing Albion College.

Below are some favorite spots from there.


And another very well know Albion icon is the Victory Park Bandshell, that gathers community members and visitors for a relaxing evening on Sunday nights in July and August.

Marshall Rotary Band
July 29, 2018


Albion’s Train Depot is a favorite building for both visitors and residents of Albion.


Perhaps lesser known, is the ubiquitous (found everywhere here in Albion) Black  Squirrel.  Albion College has started to put it onto their marketing materials.

 

Albion once had a Celebrity Black Squirrel dinner that often had props and door prizes related to black squirrels.

 

There was once an idea to have a roadside attraction featuring the World’s Largest Black Squirrel.  A good location might be near the train depot which is also along the “Hub of Trails” that Albion is becoming known for.

and one more color for Albion is the color Purple.

As in Albion College purple and also the Purple Gang, that used to frequent downtown Albion.  Some people talked about having the first Friday of each month being a time to wear purple and go to the Bohm Theatre.  Or to dress like a Purple Gang member wearing hats, or leather, or a dress.  It might be more of a theme if we followed that color.

 

 

 

 

 

Albion Symbols – The Forks

A discussion of Albion symbols would not be complete without a review of “The Forks.”  There is the Festival of the Forks, The Forks Senior Center, the Forks of the River.   Albion was founded at the Forks of the Kalamazoo River, and there was a discussion of naming the city “The Forks,” and Peabodyville, before we settled on “Albion,” named after a place in England near the White Cliffs of Dover.

 

In this collection of Forks images, we have two Festival of the Forks buttons with designs by Albion Youth (recreated digitally by a professional artist,) the Unity and Diversity Banner, a map of Albion, the Forks Senior Center, and the Sister City logo.

Mother’s Day in Albion

Juliette Calhoun Blakely
Juliette Calhoun Blakeley

This portrait of Juliette Calhoun Blakeley is in the Gardner House Museum.

On May 13, 1877, the second Sunday of the month, Juliet Calhoun Blakeley stepped into the pulpit of the Methodist-Episcopal Church and completed the sermon for the Reverand Myron Daughterty. According to local legend, Daughterty was distraught because an antitemperance group had forced his son to spend the night in a saloon.

Proud of their mother’s achievement, Charles and Moses Blakeley encouraged other to pay tribute to their mothers. In the 1880’s the Albion Methodist church began celebrating Mother’s Day in Blakeley’s honor.

From Frank Passic’s historical essay:

“The original Blakeley home stood on the southeast corner of W. Cass and S. Clinton Sts., the present site of a city parking lot across from the fire station. Mrs. Blakeley allowed her house to serve as one of the local hiding stations for the so-called “Underground Railroad” which transported fugitive slaves to safety in Canada. The entire Blakeley family was involved in the operation out of their home. The family would hide the fugitives in the bottom of their wagon under bags of grain, or covered with ears of corn, and transport them along the predetermined route.

Julia’s son Charles Blakeley (1852-1935) often served as the driver. On one particular mission when he was accompanied by his father, Charles was held up by slave catchers who, in their search for fugitives, poked long sharp sticks through a visible bottom coop-type area covered by grain sacks, located under the wagon. They found no one however, because the slaves were hidden higher up under the main portion of the wagon. The artificial coop had been purposely placed there to distract the slave catchers.

Years later when Mrs. Blakeley was publicly honored by her church, two local black youth, Wilbur Moore and Claude Thomas, ages three and four respectively, were given the honor of pulling a rope which unfurled a large American flag at the church. This was done in recognition of Mrs. Blakeley’s participation in the Underground Railroad many years earlier.

Unfortunately, the original Blakeley home at 121 W. Cass/103 S. Clinton St. that served as an Underground Railroad stop here was demolished years ago.”

History by Frank Passic.  Used with permission.  Source: http://www.albionmich.com/history/histor_notebook/030511b.shtml

 

Albion Icons – The Wave


Every town has certain themes or images that remind us of that place. An emerging decorative theme in Albion is “The Wave.” This post has a little scavenger hunt for Waves in Albion.

The image above was the plan for a mural downtown.

The green represents the grass and trees of Albion’s many parks.

The dusty pink color represents the bricks of Superior Street.

The tan pinstripe for the Albion River Trail that also runs thru Albion — along with several other trails that converge in Albion.

The blue stripe at the bottom for the Kalamazoo River that runs right through downtown Albion.

This is an example of Albion’s wave icon.

Our scavenger hunt begins

Where else can we find a wave shape in Albion?  The wave above was a form that was borrowed from an earlier mural, also in the alley that connects Superior Street to Stoffer Plaza, a.k.a. Albion’s Farmer’s Market.

Here is a photo of the “River of Hands” mural:

These are the hands of Albion Youth and this mural was painted with the oversight of Albion College Visual Art students around the “turn of the century.”  (i.e. the year 2000 or Y2K.)

Making Waves

Are there more waves in Albion?  Let’s discover them!  Close by the two wave murals in Albion’s alley to the marketplace is one of Albion’s two museums, Kids ‘N’ Stuff Children’s Museum.  Let’s look at their sign.

There is that wave again!  It looks a lot like the river again, and there is a green pinstripe that might represent land next to a river.  Maybe a trail.

Diggin’ Deeper for Waves

Less than a mile away, in one of Albion’s 19 public parks, is the Albion Victory Park Band Shell.  You won’t see the wave there on a regular day, but if you come in the summer, on a Sunday evening,  you’ll hear music before you even get to the bandshell.

It’s not far from the sledding hill, and in the middle of the disc golf course.  And near the Victory for Kids playground.

Swingin’ at the Shell

At the bottom of this logo, there is that wave again!  It is a theme of Albion that we all knew but it didn’t have a name that we used.  The wave represents the river, and Albion was founded at the forks of the river.  More about the Forks later.

Let’s close off this post with a snippet of the “River of Time” mural that is in the alley leading up to Stoffer Plaza.

River of Time Mural in downtown Albion

This used to be the bank drive-thru, but the bank closed, along with a few other things in Albion.

Huntington Bank Closes

But as we are transforming into a reborn community, it is great for us to see Albion with fresh eyes, and to learn to tell our story in a new way.

 

Here is one section of the 56-foot long mural that represents one year in Albion.  The snow of the winter on the far left shows an early part of the year, and people have umbrellas.

The black squirrels are out, and they are digging into their reserves, and getting a bit frisky.

In this section of the mural, one can see the horses at Albion College’s Held  Equestrian Center. The horses are jumping and also enjoying the spring weather.  The observatory and Goodrich Chapel look nice with the spring flowering trees.  In the center part of this section of the mural is also the iconic blue water tower with the word ALBION across it.  Even though the water tower is not on a hill in this mural, it is in real life as it should be.  And the Coca-Cola mural building is also part of what makes Albion unique, it is shown in the mural section above also.

On the road in the mural, young people are running for track and cross country practice on the brick street, and there are people bicycling too.  Farmers are planting.  Kids are lining up to go to Kids ‘N’ Stuff (KNS), and the wave can be seen on the KNS building in the mural, so the KNS wave was one of the first ones to be depicted in Albion.  There are people planting flowers along Albion’s main thoroughfares, as they do every year.  This year in 2019, they will plant on the morning of the 4th Saturday of May, May 25, 2019.  They need volunteers too.  So please visit the Citizen’s to Beautify Facebook page to learn how to help plant flowers and to maintain them throughout the year.

This section of the mural shows the Citizens to  Beautify Albion planting along Albion’s thoroughfares in front of Kids N Stuff, and Albion District Library.  In the center is Victory for Kids playground that was built by Albion volunteers.  To the right is a game of T-Ball – that was invented in Albion.  We’ll show links to all of those things soon.  This River of Time mural tells the story of Albion, all in a wave.

Even the Coca Cola mural building shows a little of Albion’s Wave.

 

Mother’s Day History


juliette_flat_oval_002Albion’s Mother’s Day Founder, Juliette Calhoun Blakeley is described on a historical marker near the library,  on S. Ionia St and E. Erie.  Few people know that Juliette was also very involved in the underground railroad. Her home was one of the Underground Railroad Stations.

From Frank Passic’s history:

“The original Blakeley home stood on the southeast corner of W. Cass and S. Clinton Sts., the present site of a city parking lot across from the fire station. Mrs. Blakeley allowed her house to serve as one of the local hiding stations for the so-called “Underground Railroad” which transported fugitive slaves to safety in Canada. The entire Blakeley family was involved in the operation out of their home. The family would hide the fugitives in the bottom of their wagon under bags of grain, or covered with ears of corn, and transport them along the predetermined route.

Julia’s son Charles Blakeley (1852-1935) often served as the driver. On one particular mission when he was accompanied by his father, Charles was held up by slave catchers who, in their search for fugitives, poked long sharp sticks through a visible bottom coop-type area covered by grain sacks, located under the wagon. They found no one however, because the slaves were hidden higher up under the main portion of the wagon. The artificial coop had been purposely placed there to distract the slave catchers.”

Used with permission – source: http://www.albionmich.com/history/histor_notebook/030511b.shtml

A group of Michigan Historians is tracing more of the fascinating ethnic history of this region and we hope to publish some of their findings as this site grows.

Scenic Albion Photos


Scenic Albion Michigan is fun to explore in all seasons.

Spring is in the air in Albion after Easter weekend. This photo shows a lovely sunset after a storm on Saturday, April 20, 2019. We’ll post more current photos of Albion’s beauty here. We also invite contributions and we will give full credit for any photos that we can use.

To submit photos for publishing here, please visit the Albion Michigan Arts Page on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/albionmicharts/

Share a little info about what the photo is of. Landmarks with a pretty sky are preferred. Walk around to get the best view. We will stream the best images here.  Use the hashtag #scenicalbionmich for more sharing from Twitter.

Cultural District near the Albion River Trail

Albion has a number of culturally interesting locations near the National Historic District and near the Albion River Trail.

Occupational Monument by sculptor Ed Chesney.

Click the icon on the upper left to open a menu and to show or hide these layers on the map:

  • Art near the Albion River Trail
  • Historical Markers near downtown
  • Albion Parks and their location marked along with the  Albion River Trail.
  • Purple  Gang locations near the Albion River Trail
  • See more information on the Albion River Trail link in the upper menu.

Albion has several historic advertising murals including the iconic Coca Cola mural near Bournelis Park.

Coca-Cola mural downtown Albion

Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall are symbolized in this 56 foot long mural in downtown Albion, in the former FirstMerit Bank drivethru.

Learn more about the bank building downtown that is now available for a new type of business.
http://albionmich.net/huntington-bank-albion-branch-closes/

The remodeled bank building with the ornate cap that had to be removed in the 1960’s for the new code.

Q: Where can I preview more of Albion’s cultural destinations?

A:  Visit this link: AlbionMich.net/culture