Five Years of the General Guide
The General Guide with calendars of Albion and Marshall community events for October, November, and December will be distributed the weekend of September 28, 2018. The publication first came out in January 2014 with the current Guide that covers through the end of 2018 will make five years of local history published on the fliers. Those years in the communities of Albion and Marshall included significant weather events, businesses moving, the annexation of schools and much more. These events set into motion the creation of a community guide that was invented as local businesses collaborated to address some of the changes.
On Wednesday, September 11, 2013, a sudden storm moved through Albion, taking down thousands of trees and breaking power lines. The college campus and downtown Albion suffered power losses and roof damages. The General Store in downtown Albion, then located near the corner of Cass Street and Superior Street lost a good portion of its roof. The store owner decided to move up the street to 420 S. Superior Street, now the current location of the new Albion Malleable Brewing Company.
At that point, Albion businesses had been struggling with the downturned economy. Some innovation was required, and budgets were tight in Albion. The General Store shop owner had already hired an independent web and graphic designer to help get the business appropriately listed on the web. It was decided to create a mini black and white flyer to show the new General Store’s location, with a map of other businesses in downtown Albion, who had signed up a few years earlier for Albion Design’s web marketing program.
The General Guide began in January 2014 and was delivered to local Albion businesses during what would become known as the 2014 Polar Vortex. Albion Design and Marketing owner Maggie LaNoue, who created the General Guide, trudged around from business to business delivering the flyer to help companies be found. It was a cold start to the project.
The early General Guides had a focus on Farmer’s Almanac weather forecasts, national holidays, and a few big Albion events. Since 2014, the Guide featured the re-opening of the Historic Bohm Theatre, the launch of the famous Blues at the Bohm, the hardships and closing of Albion Public Schools, and several awareness campaigns for the local schools, library, recreation department, and street millages.
The Guide includes maps of walking tours, art, history, school calendar dates, bandshell concerts, and other free music events. The compact design allows people to post the Guide on their refrigerators as a decorative and useful source of information.
One year the Guide shared the Labor Day Riverwalk, which had not been organized officially, so Maggie stepped up to ensure the community gathering ran smoothly. Albion Design has organized group photos and planned the Albion Labor Day Riverwalk every year since then.
The mission of the Guide is to build bridges between Albion and Marshall. The General Guide is now a full-color publication with a circulation of 15,000 copies quarterly. The website includes aerial photography, current events, and Google Calendars that are synced with local organizations and coordinate with the printed version. All this and more can be found at www.GeneralGuide.net.
Earlier versions of the General Guide can be seen at: