News and Events


2017-2018 Speaker Series: Michigan History Magazine Editor to Discuss the History of Albion and Albion College in World War II

The Albion Historical Society in conjunction with the Local History Room of the Albion District Library welcomes our April speaker on Tuesday, April 10, at 6 pm in the Naomi Lane Room of the Albion District Library.  Michigan History Magazine features editor, Chris Blaker, will be discussing his research on Albion and Albion College during World War II.  At the end of the presentation, he will provide information on writing for Historical Society of Michigan publications such as Michigan History and Chronicle.

A 2014 graduate of Albion College, Chris received his M.A. in American History from Oakland University in 2016.

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.


Upcoming Events

Volunteers Needed to Archive Donations

Interested in helping preserve the history of Albion? If so, consider volunteering to archive donated items.  We usually do this in small groups, so you would not be alone, and it is an opportunity to learn about old items, places, and events.  Our next archiving meeting will be on Monday, March 19, at 6:00 at the Gardner House Museum.  Please contact president Celeste Connamacher at 517-629-3276 if interested.

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. 

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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 /