Albion College Whitehouse Nature Center History Trail

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Whitehouse Nature Center at Albion College has some wonderful trails to walk and explore.  Nine sites have been marked with red, white and blue symbols, and a history of each is included, along
with a map, in this brochure.  As you walk the trails, perhaps this brochure will help you understand your role in the story of the land as it is now as well as your place in its future.

After a severe linestorm in 2014, many of the trails needed clearing because over 1,000 trees were lost at the Nature Center. The Whitehouse Nature Center is 140 acres’ worth of outdoor education, and it comes complete with a visitors’ center that houses a classroom, wildlife observation room, and live exhibits of local reptiles and amphibians. We’re owned and operated by Albion College, but our facilities and services are open to public schools and the community for environmental education.

Click here to access a printable brochure with a history trail related to this site. There is also much information on the Albion College website with more information about this valuable community resource.

 

Albion Art Walk

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Albion has been a favorite city for artists over the years.  Perhaps due to the private liberal arts college within the community, or perhaps the convenient location for access to the highway and affordable homes, artists like to live in Albion.

This brochure of the Albion Art Walk was created by Albion College student Zack Havens to showcase the wonderful art in downtown Albion.

 

Zack worked with:

  • Sue Marcos and the
    Albion Chamber
    Of Commerce
  • Robina Quale Leach
    Sarah Briggs
  • Jim Whitehouse
  • Albion College
  • Elizabeth Schultheiss
  • Vivian Davis
  • Annette Lerma
  • Keith Kaplan
  • Amanda Lankard

Funding for this brochure was provided by The Arts and Industry Council and Albion Economic Development. There are copies available at the Greater Albion Chamber of Commerce or see the pdf by clicking here.

There is also an Albion walking tour Google map with a layer for art near the Albion River Trail.  See that map in the upper menu.

Scavenger Hunt

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Take a second look at Albion’s wonderful architecture. Many of Albion’s architectural gems have been left untouched over the years. Albion’s downtown is even a designated National Historic District. See some of the tiny details in this brochure about why Albion is so charming.

Print out this brochure to use as a resource on any of the walking tours, or just click here to view the pdf file now and get a quick idea of the classic architecture in Albion.

Use your back button to return to this page.

Purple Gang Walking Tour

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From wikipedia: Founded 1920s Founding location Detroit, Michigan, United States Years active 1910s − 1932 Territory Detroit Criminal activities Murder, extortion, theft, armed robbery, kidnapping, gambling, bootlegging Allies The Capone mob, Fred “Killer” Burke Rivals Rival gangs, The Detroit Partnership, Fred “Killer” Burke after 1927 The Purple Gang, also known as the Sugar House Gang, was a mob of bootleggers and hijackers, with predominantly Jewish members. They operated out of Detroit, Michigan, in the 1920s and came to be Detroit’s dominant criminal gang, but ultimately excessive violence and infighting caused the gang to self-destruct in the 1930s.

From an article by Frank Passic on AlbionMich.com

The Purple Gang was a group of notorious Detroit gangsters during the 1920s and 1930s. Brothers Louis, Sam and Harry Fleisher were involved with the group. The latter two were convicted of conspiracy to murder Senator Warren G. Hooper in 1945. The Fleishers came to Albion in the 1930s and operated a junk yard in the Market Place between present-day Thompsons Brakes and the new Leisure Hour Club as a “front” for their criminal activity. The business was called the Riverside Iron and Metal Company.

Albion was a perfect site between Detroit and Chicago for gangster meetings, which were held in places like the balcony of the Bohm Theatre, the Parker Inn where gangsters lodged, and at the Streetcar Tavern west of town where mobster Abe “Buffalo Harry” Rosenberg and his brother Louis owned the apartment house attached to the tavern. Purple Gang members would also purchase home-made liquor manufactured on the “west end” of town.


The Purple Gang walking tour of  Albion shows several of the places that the Purple Gang would frequent when in Albion Michigan.  A printable copy of this self guided walking tour can be found on the website: CascarellisAlbion.com  purple_gang_map-210

Riverside Cemetery Walking Tour

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Riverside Cemetery has been the final resting place for the men and women of Albion since 1837. Take a tour of Riverside and learn about the Gardners, the Crowells, the Peabodys and the Sheldons.  Learn more about Albion’s Mother of Mother’s Day, the Kinneys, and the Deans.  If you’ve lived in Albion all your life, you know these names.  If you don’t live in Albion, come anyway, you will learn a lot.

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The families highlighted in this brochure were chosen due to their accomplishments, historical interest, notoriety, or unusual monuments. More information about Riverside Cemetery can be found on the City of Albion website. There are also extensive historical articles written about the men and women buried here, and tour books of Riverside Cemetery, from Albion’s Historian Frank Passic.
CEM_MAP_BRO_INSIDE_MINI_003This brochure was created in conjunction with the City of Albion in 1990, and the 11″ x 17″ version is still available at the cemetery office. Click on the images at left to see a larger view. There are two pdf versions of the brochure linked below.

Riverside_Cemetery_LITE_map (447k faster for mobile devices)

Riverside Cemetery Printable (1.7MB – suitable for printing, uses 3 pages – set printer to landscape view)

Blizzard Art Invitations and Notecards

Now you can order and customize note cards of Albion – from Zazzle. If you sign up for Zazzle’s email list you can get big discounts. If you sign up for Zazzle Black, (only $10 annual) you can get free standard shipping on all orders any size.
We’ll be adding more products to this section soon.

Click on the name Maggie LaNoue to see other products that you can customize with art of Albion and Michigan.

General Guide XV – January/February 2016 – printable version

The “Albion History Edition” – Issue XV – January/February 2016  featuring Albion’s Historical Challenges

Click on either of the images below to access a printable pdf file of the January/February 2016 General Guide to Albion (size ~2MB – give it a minute to load)
Depending upon your plugins and settings in your browser, the file may download to your computer. From there you can read the file and print it onto two sheets of paper.

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The Albion City Council Resolution regarding Albion Public Schools and Marshall Public Schools

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A long and somewhat contentious City Council meeting ended with a bittersweet farewell to the City Hall intern from France, Marie Marcone.  To see the YouTube video her farewell speech (click continue reading.) Click here for a short link to the segment of the 12-7-15 meeting of the Albion City Council courtesy of their YouTube channel. Marie also helped to facilitate a “Show Your Best” trade show at Albion Community School and proposed new “Welcome to  Albion” signs.

An earlier segment of this same Albion City Council meeting covered a vote by the City Council “disapproving” of the proposed annexation with Marshall Public Schools. The exact wording of the resolution is below.  The reasoning behind the votes against the resolution are explained by Albion City Councilman Andrew French in a short clip of the official City Council Youtube at minute 1:24 (skips hour and half of the video but let the video load before playing).  “in fact, these five questions (of the resolution) do not address the annexation at all.””


ALBION CITY COUNCIL EXPLAINS VOTE ON ANNEXATION

The Albion City Council voted to adopt a resolution at their regular meeting on December 8, 2015, that disapproves the annexation of Albion Public Schools by Marshall Public Schools in the absence of specific guarantees, assurances, and answers. The council resolution expressed the Council’s strong concern regarding the potential educational, economic, and social implications of annexation for the future of the community.

The Council resolution recognized that confronting the district’s present educational and financial challenges demands genuine community consensus based on open communication, transparent processes, and creative leadership. The Council raised the following concerns and questions:

(1) The city and public will receive a clear plan detailing how existing loans and debt will be repaid.

(2) The city and public will have sufficient time to review the Section 22g District/ISD Consolidation Grant application before it is submitted.

(3) The city and public will receive details regarding the Albion Public Schools operation plan for the remaining portion of the academic year.

(4) The city and public will be given a minimum estimate for how long Marshall Public Schools would operate a school in Albion.

(5) The city and public will receive a detailed plan addressing the “consolidation of services” option that preserves Albion Public Schools as an entity.

The Resolution passed on a 4-3 vote, with Mayor Joe Domingo, Council Members, Garrett Brown, Rebecca Decker, and Lenn Reid voting in favor. Council Members Maurice Barnes, Cheryl Krause, and Andrew French voted in opposition.

City of Albion

RESOLUTION #2015-34

Resolution Disapproving the Proposed Annexation of Albion Public Schools by Marshall Public Schools in the Absence of Specific Guarantees, Assurances, and Answers

Background and Purpose: The Albion Public Schools Board Of Education on December I, 2015 adopted a resolution in support of an annexation of its territory by the Marshall Public Schools. Albion Public Schools is prohibited from adopting a deficit budget or operating in deficit pursuant to state law, and is therefore pursuing annexation in hopes of ensuring that some form of public education remains accessible within its territory given the enrollment declines and financial stress that threaten its viability. The Albion City Council recognizes this as a decisive moment in the life of our community. The Council wishes to express its strong concern regarding the potential educational, economic, and social implications of annexation for the future of the community that it represents, and its opposition to annexation in the absence of specific guarantees, assurances, and answers.

Council Member Brown moved, supported by Council Member Decker, to approve the following resolution:

WHEREAS, the Albion City Council recognizes that access to a quality education is an essential component of a sustainable and competitive community for residents and businesses; and

WHEREAS, the Michigan State Treasurer has determined that Albion Public Schools is subject to rapidly deteriorating financial circumstances likely to result in recurring operating deficits or financial stress; and

WHEREAS, in search of a solution, the Albion Public Schools Board of Education by resolution has initiated a process that could result in the annexation of its district by Marshall Public Schools; and

WHEREAS, Albion Public Schools is in the midst of significant and lasting transformation that will forever shape not only the educational future of our children, but the viability of the city in which they live; and

WHEREAS, the pursuit of the Section 22g District/lSD Consolidation Grant, a $5 million competitive state grant for the reimbursement of transition costs associated with the complete consolidation or annexation of districts or intermediate districts, and its December 22, 2015 deadline have unnecessarily hindered discussion of other feasible options beyond annexation; and

WHEREAS, the tax implications for residents and businesses regarding the payment of Albion Public Schools’ debt-potentially in excess of $2 million-and the revenue implications for the Albion District Library remain sources of great confusion and concern; and

WHEREAS, annexation by Marshall Public Schools would will permanently remove “local control” and the responsive, neighborhood-level accountability that a locally elected school board represents; and

WHEREAS, there are at present many unanswered questions and there needs to be a thorough review to provide the community with a firm understanding of all of the implications to our students, to our district, our taxpayers, and to our community; and

WHEREAS, confronting the district’s present educational and financial challenges demands genuine community consensus based on open communication, transparent processes, and creative leadership.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Albion City Council hereby disapproves the proposed annexation of Albion Public Schools by Marshall Public Schools in the absence of the following specific guarantees, assurances, and answers from the Albion Public Schools and Marshall Public Schools:

(1) The city and public will receive a clear plan detailing how existing loans and debt will be repaid.

(2) The city and public will have sufficient time to review the Section 22g District/lSD Consolidation Grant application before it is submitted.

(3) The city and public will receive details regarding the Albion Public Schools operation plan for the remaining portion of the academic year.

(4) The city and public will be given a minimum estimate for how long Marshall Public Schools would operate a school in Albion.

(5) The city and public will receive a detailed plan addressing the “consolidation of services” option that preserves Albion Public Schools as an entity.

I hereby certify that the above resolution was adopted on December 7, 2015 in a regular session of the Albion City Council, and this is a true copy of that resolution.

Ayes 4

Nays 3 (Barnes, Krause, French)
Absent 0

Jill Domingo, Albion City clerk Date: December 7, 2015

To see the video of this meeting – go to the City of Albion YouTube channel and see the meeting from December 7, 2015

Albion’s Tuskegee Airmen

The Tuskegee Airmen is the popular name of a group of African-American military pilots (fighter and bomber) who fought in World War II. Formally, they formed the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of theUnited States Army Air Forces. The name also applies to the navigators, bombardiers, mechanics, instructors, crew chiefs, nurses, cooks and other support personnel for the pilots.(source Wikipedia)

Albion had four servicemen that served as Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. They were: Robert Chandler, Grover Crumsby, Finis Holt and Richard Weatherford. They were part of a group of around 1,000 black soldiers who were trained at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama to become pilots in the U.S. Army Air Corps. There has been research and write-ups about our local men by others in the past.  It is very unusual for a community the size of Albion to have been the home of four of the Tuskegees.
Source Historical Albion Michigan

One of the exhibits at the Gardner House Museum upstairs is about Albion’s veterans, including Albion’s Tuskegee Airmen. Currently one of the exhibit rooms displays World War II photographs and memorabilia of area veterans including three Albion residents who were Tuskegee Airmen.
Source Albion Historical Society home page.

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Portraits above are by Jerome Washington.  See more of Jerome’s art at:

http://www.albionmich.com/jerome