News and Events


Albion Historical Society to Celebrate 200th Birthday of “Original Mother of Mother's Day” at Annual Tea Party

The Albion Historical Society will celebrate the 200th birthday of Juliet Calhoun Blakely at its annual Mother's Day Tea on Saturday, May 12.  "Juliet" will be on hand to seat guests at either 11:00 a.m. or 1:00 p.m., and reservations are required.  Guests are urged to dress for high tea for this special occasion.

Blakely, born May 13, 1818, was an early settler to the Albion area and was a woman of upstanding character.  She was very active in the temperance movement, and this led to her being dubbed "The Original Mother of Mother's Day."

Nationally, Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia was one of three women given credit for having Congress set aside the second Sunday in May to be known as "Mother's Day."  On May 9, 1914, President Wilson issued the first proclamation containing such an order.  For twenty year before this, however, the Blakely family observed this day as "Mother's Day" through the efforts of Juliet's son, Charles.

According to local legend, on the second Friday in May, 1877, local anti-temperance men in Albion kidnapped the sons of three prominent temperance families in town.  One of those boys was the son of Rev. Daugherty from the Methodist Episcopal Church.  The boys were forced to consume liquor during that Friday and were released on the streets of downtown Albion at noon during the height of Saturday shopping time.  Their goal was to embarrass the temperance families into submission.  On Sunday, the Rev. Daugherty began the worship service but was so distraught by the previous day's events that he left the pulpit.  Juliet, who was sitting with the congregation, came forward to finish the service, calling on the other mothers in the congregation to help her.  Her sons, who were traveling salesmen, were so proud and impressed with their mother that they promised to return each year on the second Sunday in May to honor their mother.  As they traveled about the country, they shared this story with other business associates and people they met, urging them to do the same.  Through their efforts, in the 1880s the Methodist Episcopal Church in Albion set this day aside to remember all mothers.

While this event is free and open to the public, reservations must be made by contacting chair Dolores Manthei at (517) 629-3041.  The party will be held at the Gardner House Museum.


How to Contact Us While We Are Building Our New Web Site...

The Albion Historical Society is currently building a new website.  The current one has been around for ten years already, which means it is from the dark ages.  In fact, due to its age, the "Contact Us" link had to be removed.  In the interim, please know that you may still reach us at info(insert the "at" sign)  We hope to have the new site in operation by late spring.

Gardner House Golf Tournament Set For June

The annual Gardner House Golf Tournament will be held on Saturday, June 23, 2018, at Tomac Woods Golf Course.  This is the big yearly fundraiser for the Albion Historical Society! The cost for golfing in this event is $50 per person and is a four-person scramble format. This cost includes 18 holes of golf, door prizes, prizes for first and second place, hole-in-one prize, 50/50 split, and a great lunch! All donations are tax deductible. Contact Andy Zblewski at (517)629-9974 if you would like to enter a team or if you would like to join a team. 

If golfing is not your thing, hole sponsorships are available for $25 per hole.  A sign with your business name will be prominently displayed at the golf course that day, listed in the program, and included in all our advertising (350 newsletters, on-line media, and multiple print ads).  That's an advertising bargain!  Donations of prizes are also appreciated.  Hats, shirts, gift certificates from your business, etc., are all good forms of advertising for you and make terrific prizes for the golfers who participate.

Help us preserve Albion's history for future generations!


Upcoming Events

Malleable to be Focus of New Exhibit and Oral Histories

The Gardner House Museum is planning a new exhibit for next year which will focus on the history of the Albion Malleable Iron Company.  The company, which was in existence from 1888 to 2002, contributed to Albion's history on so many different levels.  "Artifacts from the Malleable are significant," said society president Celeste Connamacher, "but the oral histories will really tell the story."  Any individuals who wish to contribute or loan artifacts OR share their experiences of the Malleable should contact Celeste Connamacher at 629-3276. 

We're Now on Facebook

Visit us at  Visit our page for updates on events being held at the museum, special features, recent artifact donations, and much more.

Local History Room Needs You

Interested in helping out in the Local History Room but feel like you don't have time for a regular volunteer commitment?  We have many individual short-term projects, some of which can be completed in as little as an hour or two.  Preserving and organizing local history materials is a long-term endeavor, but every little bit helps.  Email, call, or visit Local History Archivist Jennifer at the Library at (517) 629-3993, ext. 210 /