Albion, Michigan

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Albion, Michigan
Location of Albion, Michigan
Location of Albion, Michigan
Coordinates: 42°14′48″N 84°45′12″W / 42.24667°N 84.75333°W / 42.24667; -84.75333Coordinates: 42°14′48″N 84°45′12″W / 42.24667°N 84.75333°W / 42.24667; -84.75333
Country United States
State Michigan
County Calhoun
 • Total 4.51 sq mi (11.68 km2)
 • Land 4.41 sq mi (11.42 km2)
 • Water 0.10 sq mi (0.26 km2)
Elevation 951 ft (290 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 8,616
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 8,546
 • Density 1,953.7/sq mi (754.3/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 49224
Area code(s) 517
FIPS code 26-00980[4]
GNIS feature ID 0619906[5]

Albion is a city in Calhoun County in the south central region of the Lower Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 8,616[6] at the 2010 census and is part of the Battle Creek Metropolitan Statistical Area. From the time that the earliest English-speaking settlers arrived, the area has also been known as The Forks, because it is situated at the confluence of the north and south branches of the Kalamazoo River. The Festival of the Forks has been held annually since 1967 to celebrate Albion's ethnic heritage.

The presence of several major manufacturers since the 19th century has given Albion the reputation of a factory town. This has changed with the closure of several manufacturers, and Albion's culture is changing to that of a college town with a strong interest in technology and sustainability issues. Albion College is a private liberal arts college with a student population of about 1,750. Albion is a sister city with Noisy-le-Roi, France.

Albion is the birthplace of food writer M. F. K. Fisher.


The first European-American settler, Tenney Peabody, arrived in 1833 along with his brother-in-law Charles Blanchard, and a young man named Clark Dowling. Peabody's family followed soon after. In 1835, the Albion Company, a land development company formed by Jesse Crowell, platted a village and Peabody's wife was asked to name the settlement. She considered the name "Peabodyville", but "Albion" was selected instead, after the former residence of Jesse Crowell. Crowell became the first postmaster in 1838. Albion incorporated as a village in 1855 and as a city in 1885.[7][8]

In 1835, Methodist Episcopal settlers established Albion College, which was known by a few other names before 1861 when the college was fully authorized to confer four-year degrees on both men and women. The first classes were held in Albion in 1843.

The forks of the Kalamazoo River provided power for mills, and Albion quickly became a mill town as well as an agricultural market. A railroad line arrived in 1852, fostering the development of other industries.

In 1973 Albion was named an All-America City by the National Civic League. It celebrated winning the award on May 15, 1974 when the Governor of Michigan, William Milliken, and many dignitaries came to town. However, in 1975 the closure of a major factory cut the celebration short and new challenges were created overnight.

Since that time citizens have mobilized, with support from the Albion Community Foundation founded in 1968, and the Albion Volunteer Service Organization, founded in the 1980s with support from Albion College, to address the challenge of diminishing economic opportunity.

Albion's historic brick main street—first laid in 1903 and reconstructed with hand-laid, kiln-fired clay bricks in 1993.

Key to the City Honor Bestowed:

  • 1964: Aunt Jemima visited Albion on January 25.[9]
  • 1960s: Ann Landers was presented with a key upon her visit to Starr Commonwealth for Boys.[9]

Law and government[edit]

Albion has a Council-Manager form of government. City residents elect a Mayor and City Council members from six districts. The council in turn selects a City Manager to handle day-to-day affairs of the city. The mayor presides over and is a voting member of the council. Council members are elected to four-year terms, staggered every two years. A mayor is elected every two years.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.51 square miles (11.68 km2), of which 4.41 square miles (11.42 km2) is land and 0.10 square miles (0.26 km2) is water.[1] Albion is positioned 42.24 degrees north of the equator and 84.75 degrees west of the prime meridian.


Climate data for Albion
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 33.6
Average low °F (°C) 19.8
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.0
Source: Weatherbase [10]


Bohm Theatre Albion Michigan
The Bohm Theatre in Albion dates to 1908 and has undergone many renovations and changes of ownership.

2010 population by gender/age[edit]

Male 4,013 46.6%
Female 4,603 53.4%
Under 18 1,872 21.7%
18 and over 6,744 78.3%
20-24 1,364 15.8%
25-34 842 9.8%
35-49 1,251 14.5%
50-64 1,368 15.9%
65 and over 1,124 13.0%

2010 population by ethnicity[edit]

Hispanic or Latino 500 5.8%
Non Hispanic or Latino 8,116 94.2%

2010 population by race[edit]

White 5,477 63.6%
African American 2,579 29.9%
Asian 91 1.1%
American Indian and Alaska Native 29 0.3%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 17 0.2%
Other 90 1.0%
Identified by two or more 333 3.9%



Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides daily service to Albion, operating its Wolverine both directions between Chicago, Illinois and Pontiac, Michigan via Detroit.


Greyhound Lines provides daily intercity city bus service to Albion between Chicago, Illinois and Detroit.

Notable people[edit]

  • Bill Laswell, jazz bassist, record producer and record label owner; born in Albion
  • Gary Lee Nelson, composer, pioneer in electronic and computer music; grew up in Albion Gary Lee Nelson's home page
  • Jack Vaughn, Assistant Secretary of State, Ambassador to Panama and Colombia, and Director of the Peace Corps (1966-1969); grew up in Albion

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  4. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: Albion, MI". Retrieved 2012-09-14. 
  7. ^ "Festival of the Forks", Frank Passic, Morning Star, September 10, 2000, pg. 9
  8. ^ "The Passing Scene", Frank Passic, Morning Star, September 9, 2001, pg. 3
  9. ^ a b "The Key To The City". Retrieved 2012-09-14. 
  10. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Albion, Michigan". Weatherbase. 2011.  Retrieved on November 24, 2011.

External links[edit]