General Guide – Issue XXIX – February 2018 – Black History

The first ever February-only General Guide was delivered the weekend of January 27, 2018 to homes in Albion and Marshall Michigan.   The Guides are also available at participating businesses. The Black History Edition of the General Guide features information about this special month and Michigan’s role as a destination along the Underground Railroad.

This issue features custom art by Maggie LaNoue of downtown Albion and Marshall on New Year’s Day, when there was a good amount of snow and few cars. The scene of Albion highlights the new hotel, which will be opening soon. The Courtyard by Marriott hotel is the sponsor of this special issue of the General Guide featuring many reasons to come and visit Albion, and nearby.

A correction is shown above, about the Classic Films at the Bohm Theatre.  They now will be shown at 10:00 a.m. on Saturdays, and have become a popular morning pastime. Also the Cardboard Classic is now scheduled for Feb 10, where there will be plenty of snow.  Other new events listed include a Credit Management Workshop on Feb 13, 1pm  at the Charles Snyder building, and also on Feb 22 at 5:30 pm at  Albion District Library.  There is a new event listed “Making Democracy Work” on Feb 11 at Lewis Chapel at 5pm.  We also have made changes to the participating businesses on the back of the Guide below.  See more about all of the sponsors of the Guide over the past year by clicking here.

Also featured in art in this custom Guide is the Sojourner Truth statue at the entrance to Battle Creek. Sojourner Truth was a pioneer of civil rights and womens’ rights. Her courageous and heroic life ended in Battle Creek.

The first weekend of February includes the always fun Cardboard Classic at Albion’s Victory Park and Marshall’s Ice Wine and Blues. There are at least seven local live music events in February, and a special Soul Food free lecture with catered food taking place in Battle Creek on Sunday, February 11.

Other local February events include Albion’s “Men Who Cook,” which is possibly the biggest event bringing together the community of Albion around food, fellowship, and fun on Sunday, February 18. The event will again be taking place at First Baptist Church in Albion. Look for photos and a map online at GeneralGuide.net, as well as links to more official information about each event.

The Walk for Warmth, a state-wide event that originated in Albion will happen in both Albion and Battle Creek on Saturday the 24th. The First Annual Black History Month Music Celebration will take place on Monday the 26th at the Bohm Theatre. February is a great month to venture out to see friends and neighbors, while learning about our region’s cultural heritage. It is also important that we honor those who took risks to gain their freedom and help others to be free.

There is an online version of the community events calendar at GeneralGuide.net with links to more official information about these topics, past issues of the General Guide, photos of progress in Albion and Marshall, and Farmer’s Almanac news. Please support the participating businesses listed on the Guide who make the free publication possible.

Albion Train Depot – Mowrer Agency

Mowrer Agency, which is located in the train depot, is the sponsor for this special one-month edition of the General Guide for January 2018.  Mowrer agency offers home, business and automobile insurance, a bill payment service and Greyhound Bus Service.

Albion Train Depot, built in 1882 and still a functioning transportation center, is the featured item for General Guide XXVIII, January 2018, the History Edition. The depot offers daily train service to Chicago, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing.

The Train Depot was refurbished in 1985.

The Amtrak Train schedule:

https://www.amtrak.com/content/dam/projects/dotcom/english/public/documents/timetables/Michigan-Services-Schedule-062617.pdf

Greyhound Bus service is available from this location at 300 N. Eaton Street, Albion, MI.  Tickets are available at the depot during regular business hours.  Learn more about  Greyhound Bus at this location and nearby:

http://locations.greyhound.com/bus-stations/search?city=Albion&state=MI&zip=&q=Albion%2C+MI

 

Albion station - September 2016

More about Albion Train Depot

From Wikipedia:

Albion is a train station in Albion, Michigan, served by Amtrak‘s Wolverine line. Baggage cannot be checked at this location; however, up to two suitcases in addition to any “personal items” such as briefcases, purses, laptop bags, and infant equipment are allowed on board as carry-ons. Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage service at this station, which is served by two trains daily.

History

The current Albion station house was built in 1882 by the Michigan Central Railroad, which originally ran through town in 1844. The station also had a freight house. Ten years earlier Albion had competition when the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway arrived and added its own station, which operated until the 1920s.

The red brick depot is a well-preserved example of a Victorian station with earlier Italianate details, such as three sided bays with fancy double brackets supporting the eaves. Colored and glazed brick in shades of white form two beltcourses that encircle the structure. Plain pilasters divide the window bays, each of which features deep corbelling. The trackside bay is topped by a gable with bargeboard and woodwork associated with the Eastlake decorative style. Wrought-iron fencing is found along the ridge of the roof, while two prominent chimneys with corbelling crown the structure.[3]

The Albion station was abandoned in 1971, when Amtrak consolidated all cross-country passenger rail service within the United States. However it was restored to its original condition by local community groups in the mid-1980s and currently serves as both a bus and train station. The freight house was also restored and converted into a local sports bar known as Davan’s, which has since closed.

Free Museum Days

All eight museums in Marshall are free for the 2017 Marshall Tourism Day on Saturday May 20, 2017.  If you click on a Marshall museum image above, you will go to a directory and map of all of them with more information.

There are also two museums in Albion – the Gardner House Museum and Kids ‘N’ Stuff Children’s Museum.  Click on either of those image to learn more about visiting those museums and also special events.

History Hill at Holland Park

The public was invited to the grand opening of the newly installed West Ward School History panels in Holland Park at on Saturday, Aug. 13th 2016.

As part of the Holland Park Transformation, a Michigan Humanities Council Heritage grant was awarded to the City of Albion and Albion College to display the West Ward School story. For this project, historians Robert Wall, Leslie Dick, and Dr. Wesley Arden Dick interviewed more than 20 former West Ward students. This history will be a permanent exhibit on History Hill in Holland Park. Park visitors will be able to access the Albion West Ward School website to discover more and to hear the voices of the West Ward students.

West Ward Elementary School was built in 1873. For 45 years, its students were primarily the children of white, European immigrants who worked in the nearby iron foundries. European immigration was cut off during World War I, and the Albion Malleable Iron Company sent a recruiter south to Pensacola, Florida. In November of 1916, almost 100 years ago, 64 African American men arrived at the Albion railroad depot, ready to go to work at “The Malleable.” Soon, their wives and children arrived, posing a question: where would their children attend school? At first, those children were educated at an Albion African American church. When Dalrymple Elementary School was completed in January of 1918, the white West Ward School children were transferred to the new school and West Ward became an all-Black elementary school.

Previously, the African American children had been educated in the segregated, Jim Crow South in all-Black schools. The only way the new arrivals would have Black teachers in Albion in 1918 was to make West Ward a segregated school. Although segregated public education was against Michigan law, West Ward remained an all-Black school until 1953. While African American parents and community leaders initially favored the segregated arrangement, racial attitudes concerning justice and achieving the American Dream changed over time. By 1953, key Black parents considered West Ward to be “separate, but unequal,” and they kept their children out of school that fall. This led to a showdown with the Albion Board of Education. Confronted by the boycott and threatened by an NAACP lawsuit, the Board ended classes at West Ward in October of 1953. The West Ward story thus changed from northern segregation to an Albion Civil Rights movement. After the school was closed, it was tor! n down, and the school grounds became a city park, which was later dedicated in honor of Robert Holland, Sr., one of the boycott leaders. West Ward is a reminder that Albion’s story is America’s story.

The historical display was made possible by a Heritage Grant from the Michigan Humanities Council.

To learn more about History Hill visit our new website: www.albionwestward.net

To help support the work of the Albion branch NAACP, please visit https://www.facebook.com/AlbionNaacp/

To donate, go to the Holland Park Transformation facebook page and send us a message to ask where to mail your check.