News and Events


Volunteers Needed to Archive Donations

Interested in helping preserve the history of Albion? The Albion Historical Society will hold a meeting to archive donated items on Monday, October 16, at 6 p.m. at the Gardner House Museum, 509 South Superior Street, in Albion. 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 Arnette 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.

Upcoming Events

2017-2018 Speaker Series: Author to Discuss Albion's Connection to Underground Railroad

The Albion Historical Society in conjunction with the History Room of the Albion District Library will open its 2017-2018 speaker series on Monday, October 30, at 2 pm in the Naomi Lane Room with author Linda Hass who will discuss the Underground Railroad in southcentral Michigan.

In the early to mid 1800s, Jackson County was home to two branches of the Underground Railroad, a secret network that funneled fugitives from slavery in the South to freedom in the North.  Many local residents participated in this network, risking their lives to feed, lodge, and transport fugitives passing through Calhoun and Jackson counties to Canada, where slavery was outlawed.  Hass will also include information from her research specific to the Albion area.

Linda Hass is a fervent fan of local history and the author of Michigan's Crossroads to Freedom:  The Underground Railroad in Jackson County ( 2017).  She holds a master's degree in journalism from Michigan State University and has written for various regional publications.  Her forthcoming book, Hidden in Plain Sight:  The Underground Railroad in Jackson County, takes an in-depth look at agents in and around Jackson who risked their lives to help fugitives.  It also profiles specific freedom-seekers and includes guest columns and a self-guided walking tour of Underground Railroad landmarks in Jackson County.

The next talk in the series will be held November 14 at 6 pm when Chris Herweyer will talk about the life of Washington Gardner.  For more information about the speaker series or to suggest possible speakers, please contact organizer Jennifer Wood at the History Room of the Albion District Library at (517)629-3993.


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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 /