Amidst the quiet rolling farmlands and cool lakes of south-central
Michigan Albion is nestled along the forks of the Kalamazoo River.
With its fifteen parks, historic brick main street, college campus and
diverse population, Albion has a warm, hometown flavor. The communitys close
proximity to area orchards, bike trails, public golf courses, and other countryside
attractions offers visitors a unique getaway.
History & Heritage
Albions first pioneers, the Tenney Peabody family, settled at the
Forks of the Kalamazoo in 1833, building their cabin with a thatched roof of grass from
the nearby river.
In the years to follow, the river continued to reflect Albions
growth and colorful history. Along the Riverwalk, linking the citys park system, are
reminders of Albions first home, the mill race which served the Gothic Mill and the
White Mill, and the triple-arched stone bridge that withstood the devastating flood of
Albions Historic Walkway, developed by the Albion Bicentennial
Commission, takes you around and across the river to many registered historic landmarks:
- Birthplace of Mothers Day
- Home of "Sweetheart of Sigma Chi"
- Writing of the "Old Rugged Cross"
- Gardner House Museum
- Albion College and the College Observatory
- Holy Ascension Orthodox Church
- Starr Commonwealth
- Riverside Cemetery established in 1837
Other Memories Include:
- Albions historic brick main street - first laid in 1903 and reconstructed with
hand-laid, kilnfired clay bricks in 1993
- The restored Train Depot built in 1882
- Albion Public Library built in 1918 with funds from Andrew C. Carnegie
- The Forks monument.
Connecting Albion to historic places east and west is the Michigan
Historic Highway, known locally as "old US-12". Once a Pottawatomie Indian
trail, and the route of the Underground Railroad helping slaves to freedom, this road
served as the mainstream of Michigan Territory.
Nature & Recreation
Designated Tree City U.S.A. by the National Arbor Day Foundation,
Albion abounds with natural beauty. Eight of the citys fifteen parks are located
along the Kalamazoo River. The largest of these, Victory Park, is named for the Allied
Forces victory in World War 1. It is a popular location for wintertime sledding,
and, in the summertime, community bands perform from the bandshell built in the 1930s.
Other Natural Getaways:
Whitehouse Nature Center - 135 acres of natural habitat administered
by Albion College as an outdoor education center. Bordering on the Kalamazoo River, the
Nature Center has six self-guided traits featuring 400 species of plants, 160 species of
birds and an interpretive center. It is open to the public at no fee.
Canoeing - a trip-tic with a map and guide of suggested routes along
the north, south or west branches of the Kalamazoo is available courtesy of the Albion
Civic Foundations Riverfront Development Fund Advisory Committee.
Water skiing, fishing, boating
Cross-country ski trails
Nearby golf and camping
Picnicking, hiking, bicycling in the parks or along shady country
Ice skating at the Victory Park rink or on the pond in Rieger Park. A
warming shelter complete with fireplace is available for warming toes.
Basketball and tennis courts, baseball diamonds and playground areas
for families are numerous throughout the city parks.
Forks of the Kalamazoo River
Culture & Festivals
The calendar is full for Albion residents, with activities attracting
visitors from throughout the area.
Festival of the Forks
The Festival of the Forks - On the third weekend in September, Albion
celebrates its river and the varied cultures of its people. An annual tradition begun in
1966, the Festival was named in recognition of the Kalamazoo River forks at the center of
town. Ethnic foods and entertainment highlight the day.
Winterfest - celebrated the last Sunday in January with a Cardboard
Classic sled race down the Victory Park sledding hill. Learn more at GreaterAlbionchamber.org
Mothers Day Jubilee - Albion celebrates its honor of being the
original home of Mothers Day with "yardcards" greeting visitors to the
community during the week of Mothers Day.
Starr Commonwealth Founders Day - celebrated each October to
commemorate founder Floyd Starr whose creed was "There is no such thing as a bad
Gardner House Museum - located on M-99 south of the business
district, the museum is on the National Register of Historic Places and preserves and
displays the heritage of Albion.
Albion College Observatory - built in 1883, it houses one of the
oldest actively used telescopes in the country.
Bobbitt Visual Arts Center - located on the college campus, features
the work of nationally known artists.
Gerald R. Ford Institute for Public Service - attracts nationally and
internationally distinguished speakers to the college campus.
Brueckner Museum and Gladsome Cottage - located on the campus of
Starr Commonwealth just outside Albion, the museums feature authentic Victorian furniture,
paintings, and sculptures.
Albion Performing Artists and Lecture Series
Albion Community Theater
A Diverse Community
The richness of Albion today can be attributed in part to its ethnic
diversity and shared cultures. This spirit of cooperation is reflected in the many
volunteer programs coordinated through the Albion Volunteer Center. Volunteer
organizations such as the Citizens to Beautify Albion bring together people of all
backgrounds to plant flowers each May along city streets. Downtown on the corner of
Superior and Michigan, the American Molder statue honors the people of many cultures who
have worked in industry in Albion.
Where We Are
Albion is located just off exits 121 and 124 of 1-94 between Battle.
Click here to see a map of Albion's location.
For more information, call the Greater Albion Chamber of Commerce
1-800-453-3932 or 1-517-629-5533.