The General Guide showcases cultural places and events along the I-94 corridor between Battle Creek and Jackson, including Albion, Marshall, and Homer.
The primary focus of the Guide is to build bridges between Albion and Marshall by sharing information that welcomes people into each community.
Since gasoline prices are a bit higher this year than they were a year ago, many families are opting out of larger vacations and going on day-trips along the I-94 corridor for fun and entertainment. The General Guide can help to figure out what places to go to on what day. The Guide is designed to be posted on a refrigerator showing the three months calendars and art of “Summer in the City” as the banner design.
Many people in Michigan know about the Mackinac Labor Day Bridge Walk, but the Albion Labor Day River Trail Walk over the Bridge is also gaining in popularity. This event starts in Victory Park at 10 a.m. on Labor Day and will be promoted more as the big day draws near. The walk is open for people with all levels of mobility.
The weather was surprisingly cooperative for the Albion Community Bike Program Launch on Monday, May 14, 2018. The next ride is Memorial Day, Monday, May 28, 2018, for the Brewery Ride, starts from City Hall at 5:30 and will also tour the Albion River Trail and end up at a new destination in downtown Albion.
The Sledding Hill in Victory Park Albion is already a destination for those who love to race on a snowy hill, but once a year it is the host to hundreds of people for the Cardboard Classic Sledding Race. In 2018 the date is Saturday February 9. The date was carefully chosen to coincide with the winter storm that arrived earlier in the week and just ended the day of the race for the a foot of the finest powder for the sport.
The sledding hill in Victory Park Albion is a popular destination in the area. There are straw bales on either side, and a light at night so sledders can enjoy the lovely trees and view in Victory Park.
The sledding hill is home to the Cardboard Classic Annual Sledding contest, with prizes for the fastest, and most uniquely designed sleds made of Corrugated Cardboard. The event usually happens in January or February, weather allowing.
This view of the sledding hill is part of a 56-foot long mural in the drive thru of First Merit bank in downtown Albion. The mural is called the Albion River of Time because it shows a linear scene depicting things happening in all four seasons in Albion, along with the river, brick streets, river trail, and parks.
The traditional Albion Labor Day River Trail Walk is sponsored by the Albion Health Care Alliance. Everyone is invited. Here is the official event page: albionhca.org/events.html
We are now including more options added for limited mobility and limited time walks. At 10 a.m. on Labor Day (September 4, 2017) please meet for a group photo by the Victory for Kids playground in Victory Park. After that we will do the Labor Day Bridge Walk over the Albion foot bridge. From there, some people had a car waiting on the other side of the bridge, others continued the walk on the Albion River Trail to Harris Field. (1.5 miles) Most people opt to walk back for the full walk of 3 miles.
Others had dropped off cars previously at Harris Field and carpooled back. In this way more people decided to customize the walk to their own schedule. Fresh cold bottled water was supplied at the 2016 walk by Culligan Water in Albion. It was a refreshing day, all around.
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.