News and 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.  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. 

Board Election Results

At its annual membership meeting on October 8, the Albion Historical Society enjoyed a presentation by Jim Dean from Yesterday's News on collectibles.  After the talk, members voted on board nominees.  Filling the spots left vacant by outgoing board members Barb McAuliffe and Denise Porter are Tonya Arnett and Amy Reimann.  Jennifer Wood, Kathie Dekker, and Celeste Connamacher were all re-elected to second three-year terms.  The next board meeting will be held November 13 at the Gardner House Museum.

Albion Was a Stop on the Underground Railroad

Author Linda Hass kicked off the AHS/ADL 2017-2018 Speaker Series on Monday, October 30, by sharing her research about Albion's connection to the Underground Railroad.  After careful research, Hass discovered that Edwin H. Johnson was an agent for Albion.  His home was officially located in Sheridan Township quite close to the border with Albion.  That home, no longer standing, was at the approximate location of Bushong Drive.  Johnson and his partner Marvin Hannahs owned the Newburg Mill located about a mile east of the city limits, and Johnson was also the Superintendent of the Poor for this area. 

Linda Hass shared more information about her research which will be published in 2018 in her next book, "Hidden in Plain Sight: The Underground Railroad in Jackson County" ( 2017).  During her talk, a few audience members shared anecdotal stories and details supporting Hass' research.

The Speaker Series is provided by the Albion Historical Society and the Albion District Library History Room.  For more information about future talks, please watch this website or contact organizer and History Room librarian Jennifer Wood at (517) 629-3993.

Upcoming Events

2017-2018 Speaker Series: Washington Gardner--The Man, Not the Building

The Albion Historical Society in conjunction with the Local History Room of the Albion District Library continues its 2017-18 speaker series on Tuesday, November 14, at 6 p.m. in the Naomi Lane Room with Albion College alumnus Chris Herweyer who will discuss his honors thesis, "The Life and Times of Washington Gardner."

While most residents of Albion are familiar with Washington Gardner School on Michigan Avenue, relatively few know much about the man after whom the building is named.  Despite an extremely successful career, first teaching at Albion College and eventually serving as Michigan's secretary of state and for multiple terms as a Michigan congressman, Gardner's life has never been the subject of serious historical scholarship until now.

Christopher Herweyer is an honors graduate of Albion College, having earned his degree in history and political science in the spring of 2017.  While at Albion, he was a member of the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Leadership in Public Policy, spent a semester in Chicago doing research at the Newberry Library, and assisted Albion College by researching the history of the President's House on Michigan Avenue (originally the home of Albion Malleable Iron Company president Harry B. Parker.)  Currently, Chris is serving as one of Albion's AmeriCorps VISTA team member.

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 /