It was a beautiful day in Albion on Labor Day, Monday, September 2, 2019. The walkers gathered at the Victory Park Bandshell to pose for a group photo with the new Trail Town banner. Albion was recently recognized as a Trail Town community by the North Country Trail Association for its various hiking and biking events.
Hikers walked across three of Albion’s 19 bridges and viewed the farmer’s market area, the river, and different Albion landmarks including the Coca Cola mural and the blue water tower. Labor Day Albion Walk the Trail featured some new segments including two historical speakers, visitors from the North Country Trail Association, and food for the participants.
Labor Day Albion – Walk the Trail has been sponsored by the Albion Health Care Alliance for the past 15 years. This link goes to the official event page:
Click the photos to see the enlargements. Captions are located above the images.
The first speaker, Leslie Dick, spoke about how Holland Park came to be transformed from a place where children had to invent their own play equipment, that was sometimes not safe, to a place where several annual events are held, and there is equipment not only for youth but also for senior citizens.
Dr. Wesley Arden Dick, a history professor at Albion College, shared information about the origins of Labor Day, and how the Great Migration of 1918 brought families of African Americans to the north for men to work in the factories. The unions were formed to assure greater safety and better pay for all workers.
Bob Wall, a former teacher at Albion High School, and a local historian shared some of the information about West Ward School, that was located on this site in Holland Park. He had attended West Ward School, that did not start out as a segregated school, but later became that way due to a variety of factors.
Thanks to this and other Albion hiking events, Albion is now recognized as a Trail Town by North Country Trail Association.
Click on the image below to see videos of the educational segment at Holland Park from 2019.
Bob Wall shares his experience growing up in the Holland Park area and attending West Ward school, which was segregated at the time he attended there. Click the image above to go to the page with videos.