News and Events

News

Enthusiastic Candidates Wanted to Serve on Board

The Albion Historical Society is run by volunteers, and everything that happens starts with the board of directors.  We are searching for candidates to actively work on our board. We desire candidates who will act as docents at the Gardner House Museum, help run events, volunteer in the upkeep of the museum, and have a willingness to teach or learn. This is not a sitting board. Nothing happens in the Albion Historical Society without the sheer grit and determination of our excellent volunteers. You do not have to have a college degree or fancy resume, only some decorum and enthusiasm to help us accomplish our mission-- to promote and preserve the history of Albion. Please contact president Celeste Connamacher at (517) 629-3276 if you are interested.

Capitol Historian to talk about Architect Elijah E. Myers

The First Presbyterian Church of Albion will be the venue in October for the Albion Historical Society's Speaker Series where historian Valerie Marvin will be giving a talk entitled:  "Elijah E. Myers, America's Greatest Capitol Architect."  Ms. Marvin will present a survey of the career of the Michigan State Capitol's architect--considered to be America's greatest and most prolific capitol architect.  This talk will be held Tuesday, October 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Albion.

Elijah E. Myers (1830-1909) was a leading architect of government buildings in the latter half of the 19th century and the only architect to design the capitol buildings of three U.S. states: the Michigan State Capitol, the Texas State Capitol, and the Colorado State Capitol. He was also the architect of Albion's First Presbyterian Church, the Grosvenor House in Jonesville, Stockbridge Town Hall, Grand Rapids City Hall, and many more sites in Michigan.

In February 1837 the Reverend Calvin Clark, a circuit riding pastor sent by the American Home Missionary Society, met with twenty-four persons and organized Albion's First Presbyterian Church. The first church was built on the southwest corner of Clinton and Erie streets. In 1840 it was completed and a few years later was owned and occupied by the German Lutheran Church. In 1857 the congregation erected a new church on its current site; however, it burned in February 1873. Detroit architect Elijah E. Myers was immediately commissioned to plan a new church, which was completed in 1879. In 1883 fire again ravaged the church. The Romanesque Revival building's shell and two stained-glass windows were saved and incorporated into the present church, which was dedicated on August 10, 1884.

Valerie Marvin is honored to serve as the Historian and Curator of the Michigan State Capitol.  She is a graduate of the University of Michigan (Bachelor of Arts in Russian Studies, 2005) and Eastern Michigan University (Masters of Science in Historic Preservation, 2009).  Valerie lives with her husband David in a 1906 home in downtown Lansing.

The First Presbyterian Church is located at 305 South Porter at Monroe, and the talk will be held in the Fellowship Hall. This talk is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. The Speaker Series is done in partnership with the Albion District Library. Contact Jennifer Wood, Local History Room archivist, at (517) 629-3993 for more information.

Results of survey on historic preservation to be presented September 24

The Michigan Historic Preservation Network (MHPN), in partnership with the community of Albion, conducted  a Historic Preservation Community Assessment. The assessment involved collecting, evaluating, and interpreting information from numerous sources, including online surveys of residents, community leaders and government officials; review of documents; meetings with community group leaders and government officials; and in-person site visits. The assessment was intended to provide the residents and leaders of Albion with a snapshot of the community’s current historic preservation ethic and efforts, and a blueprint of recommendations and resources for advancing historic preservation in the community. A full report on findings and recommendations is currently being produced and will contain detailed recommendations and opportunities to move forward for city officials, volunteers, residents, and nonprofit organizations.  Join them on Monday, September 24, from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Bohm to discuss the findings from the survey!

Funding for this assessment is provided through a grant to MHPN from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO).

Cemetery Tour Coming October 7

We hope you will join us for our "South Side Tour of Riverside Cemetery" to be held Sunday, October 7, at 1:00.  We will meet at the south end of Riverside Cemetery and walk to 16 different graves.  Included on the tour will be stops at the graves of: Samuel Dickie, Sen. Warren Hooper, Ruth Dean, Dr. Ara Sharp, James "Deacon" McGuire, Rev. Robert Brown, Robert Holland Sr., Violet DeLong, Charles Billinghurst, Ruth Rogers, Joseph Duckworth, Washington Gardner, Alfred Schumacher, Julius Gant, Warren Kessler, and Harry Parker.  Booklets containing information about each person will be available for a small donation.  We will walk no matter rain or shine.

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)albionhistoricalsociety.org.  We hope to have the new site in operation by late spring.

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 www.facebook.com/albionhistoricalsociety.  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 / history@albionlibrary.org.