News and Events


"I Have a Dream" Anniversary

Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his dream. On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.,Dr. King said, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and liveout the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.’ ”On the 50th anniversary of this memorable event, Wednesday, August 28, the Albion Historical Society, the Albion branch of the NAACP, the Albion Business and Professional Women's Club and the Greater Albion Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau will hold a celebration, at 7 p.m. at the Ismon House, 300 South Clinton St. in Albion. Several local residents will read the entire speech. Then, Albion College History Chair and Professor Wesley Dick and local volunteer Tom Brown will share their experiences of meeting Dr. King when he visited Albion and Detroit earlier that year, and the marches they participated in. Mr. Dick will also talk about his journey to Washington, D.C. to march on August 24, as part of the commemorative celebrations there. During the Albion event, Dorothy Dickerson, owner of Books & More, will be on hand to sell the beautiful color versions of the "I Have A Dream" book for all ages, by Dr. King and with paintings by Kadir Nelson. It includes a CD of the original speech. You can purchase it at this event for $18, a savings of $2. Also at this celebration, NAACP President Bob Dunklin will speak about its recent convention. This event is free and open to the public. Hors d'oeuvres will be served.  The Albion Historical Society preserves and displays the heritage of the Albion area. The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination. Albion BPW's mission is to achieve equity for all women in the workplace. Its vision is to be the leading advocate for all working women. For more information about Albion BPW contact President Carolyn Gilg at (517) 250-1779 or   The Greater Albion Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau is the local voice of and for business. It exists to develop and express business opinion and to promote the best interests of the community along civic, commercial, industrial and professional lines. For more information, call (517) 629-5533 or visit 310 South Superior in Albion or its website.

Join the Board of Directors

The Albion Historical Society has openings for the 2013-14 Board of Directors. Board members are expected to attend 4-5 board meetings each year, plus commit to help with special events, archiving or giving tours and more. Board members can serve up to two consecutive three-year terms. Contact us  today if you're interested in learning more. The new board members will be voted upon, at the October 19 Annual Meeting.

All-America City Celebration

In 1973, the City of Albion received the All-American City designation. We were selected from more than 400 other cities as a finalist. On July 18, the Albion Historical Society hosted a 40th anniversary celebration, at the Albion District Library. We heard the inspiring stories that led to this award and we saw what life was like in 1973.Thanks to Barbara Gladney, Barbara McAuliffe, Isaac Kremer, Fran Costianes and Michael Herman who spoke about their experiences. In Albion's presentation in 1973, three specific movements were listed as examples of how Albion citizens were building community. They were the Melting Pot, initiated by Barb and Tom Gladney along with Sandy and Paul Pimentel; Earn, Learn and Play, originated by Elkin "Ike" Isaac; and the Albion Beautification committee, which cited Truman Barnes as an early organizer. Other programs included creation of the Albion Historical Society, founding of the Johnson Day Care from private support, and founding of the Albion Community Foundation to improve the quality of life in Albion. These accomplishments were all a result of citizens who wanted to improve the climate of racial mistrust at the time.Were you in Albion at the time? How did this award help our community? The National Civic League, which coordinates the All America City, would like to hear from you. Please contact:Gloria Rubio-CortesPresident, National Civic Leaguewww.ncl.orgblog: www.allamericacityaward.com1889 York StreetDenver, CO

Gardner Scramble Golf Outing

The Albion Historical Society would like to thank all the golfers and sponsors of our  Gardner Scramble Golf Outing, held on Saturday, June 22, at Tomac Woods Golf Course. More than forty people played. “This is our major fundraiser for the Gardner House Museum each year,” said Andy Zblewski, Albion Historical Society President. It’s a Victorian home built in the late 1800’s and houses all the society’s archives as well as being an active museum open to the public, free of charge. “The upkeep of the building is a never-ending process that unfortunately is very costly."     

New Exhibit at Museum

The Albion Historical Society has unveiled a new exhibit, Bloomers to Bell Bottoms, at the Gardner House Museum. We have pictures of clothing stores from the past on display, as well as clothes from the archives featuring styles from the 1890's through the 1970's. Enjoy clothing advertising and a sewing display. This exhibit is on the second floor.

Tour Guides Needed for Museum

The Albion Historical Society is in need of volunteers to give tours at its Gardner House Museum. It is now and will remain open on Saturdays and Sundays, between 2-4 p.m. through the end of September. The society needs at least two guides during each of those shifts, to showcase the Victorian house from the late 1800’s. Guides will learn the highlights of its three floors, as well as the basic history of Albion.

Gardner House Museum on JTV

Albion’s own Gardner House Museum was featured on JTV’s Where We Live program. The show gives a tour of the Victorian mansion, located at 509 South Superior in downtown. Watch a short version of this video, on YouTube.

Invite a Friend to AHS

The Albion Historical Society board wishes to thank all those who helped make the "Invite a Friend" membership drive a success. We had volunteers stationed at various places in Albion on June 14, with the hopes of members renewing, new members joining and creating awareness about what we do. Thank you to Membership Chair Barb McAuliffe for coordinating this event, to the volunteers who gave their time, and to Chemical Bank, First Merit Bank, Homestead Savings Bank and United Educational Credit Union for allowing us to host this event in their lobbies. And thank you to those who joined and renewed. We appreciate your support! If you missed this, but would still like to be a part of the Albion Historical Society, you  can join today.

Plant Swap and Sale

As spring finally arrived in Albion, the Albion Historical Society held its annual Plant Swap and Sale on Saturday, May 18, between noon-2 p.m. in the front yard of the Gardner House Museum. Gardeners traded, sold and swapped plants and flowers.  

Model T's Rolled into Albion

Approximately fifty people in Model T cars rolled into Albion on Saturday, May 18. After stopping at Victory Park, they toured the Gardner House Museum. “Our Model T event is called the CanAM which is an annual event that includes our Michigan club, The Casual T's, and our Canadian counterpart,” said Jill McCririe, secretary of Casual T’s. “The event alternates every year between Michigan and Canada.” According to its website, The Model T Ford was built for model years 1909 through 1927. More than 15 million rolled off the assembly lines and put the world on wheels. Their durability, the availability of parts, and their simplicity make them a practical car for a hobbyist. There are many Model T’s still on the roads today being driven and enjoyed all over the world.

Mother's Day Tea

The Albion Historical Society held its annual Mother's Day Tea on Saturday, May 11, at the Gardner House Museum. There was a tea at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Guests enjoyed a light fare, cookies and other treats. Mother's Day is believed to have originated in Albion on May 11, 1877, when Julie Calhoun Blakely asked parishioners at the local Methodist church to honor mothers. Mother's Day was born. The historical society has hosted this event since 2003.  

Gardner House Celebrated Reading April 23

The Gardner House Museum was one of many locations in Albion that celebrated  World Book Night during the evening of Tuesday, April 23. During this event, your friends and neighbors read from a World Book Night book or another book they are passionate about and then demonstrated or explained how that book has touched their lives. They also handed out free books At the Gardner House, we heard Ed & Sue Kernish read the "Elephant Whisperer" by Lawrence Anthony with Grahm Spence and Andy French read "Me Talk Pretty One Day" by David Sedaris.

Treasure Ship Author Visited Albion

It went down with seventeen crew and passengers in Lake Michigan in 1854. On April 4, 2013, about 35 people heard the story of the Westmoreland, during a program sponsored by the Albion Historical Society and the Albion District Library. Ross Richardson, author of The Search for the Westmoreland, Lake Michigan's Treasure Ship, showed pictures and video of his successful search for the passenger steamer. He explained why he never found the gold and whiskey rumored to be aboard and how he found the ship, when others had failed. The program was free and open to the public. To learn more about his treasure hunting, visit his website.  

Share Your Memories with the Albion Historical Society

Where were you when Senator Warren Hooper was murdered? What do you remember about the early days of the Festival of the Forks? What are your memories of the Bohm Theatre, your school days, summer concerts or your favorite local stores? The Albion Historical Society wants to hear your memories. It will include them in upcoming newsletters, to share with its members. Contact us or mail your stories to: The Gardner House Museum 509 South Superior Street Albion, MI 49224 Please include your name, your contact information and how long you have lived in the Albion area, as well as any pertinent pictures if you have them.

Upcoming Events

Museum Open Saturday, Sept. 21 11 am-4 pm

Gardner House Museum Now Open

The Gardner House Museum is now open and will remain open weekends, 2-4 p.m. until the end of September. Tours are also available by appointment.

Albion Historical Society Annual Membership Meeting

Each year, generous friends of the Albion-area donate artifacts to the Gardner House Museum. At this year's annual Membership Meeting, we will uncover some of the Mysteries of the Museum. This event is Saturday, October 19, at 5:30 p.m. The museum is located at 509 South Superior Street in historic downtown. Light fare will be served. Members and guests are welcome. Members will also vote on new board members and hear an update on the state of affairs of the historical society.    

Paint the Museum's Fence: Sept. 28 at 9 a.m.

On Saturday, September 28, starting at 9 a.m., we will scrape the old paint off the fence of the Gardner House Museum, and then re-paint it. Please join us! Wear comfortable "work" clothes and if you have them, scrapers. Please call with any questions.