Albion, Oh, Albion
Albion Village Historian
No. 1296—An Historic
On Tuesday evening, September 9, word spread
through the Internet that Albion had won the
competition for the Western Erie Canal Main Street Program. This program, based on the National Trust for
Historic Preservation’s Main Street Program, will annually provide $50,000 of
community planning for three years to Albion,
to match the money that has been pledged locally to hire and support a trained community
All of Western New York
has suffered greatly since World War II, as industry has moved South to cheaper
climates and industry has globalized. It
has been very difficult to plan what our cities and villages should do to
replace the farms, steel mills, canning plants, and automobile parts factories
that used to drive the Western New York economy.
This grant will provide Albion
with much needed overall expert planning to coordinate the individual efforts
that have so valiantly been made in the face of daunting adversity. The grant application, put together in a
month and a half by a highly dedicated volunteer team, was overwhelming and
very professional. It indicates what
spirit and expertise there is in this village.
application was put together by DART—Downtown Albion Revival Tea—a loose group
of volunteers spearheaded by village trustee Dean Theodorakos. The presentation was made in Rochester on Wednesday,
September 3, with four presenters—lawyer Nathan Lyman, Theodorakos,
preservation architect Andrea Rebeck, and school board president and Pratt
Opera owner Michael Bonafede—made a powerful, well-organized Power Point
presentation. They were supported by
more than a dozen community members including Albion Central School System
Superintendent Ada Grabowski, ACS grants manager Sue Stark weather, the Rev.
Gary Saunders of the First Presbyterian Church of Albion, Albion Betterment
Committee Member and county legislator Gary Kent, and Albion Town
Superintendent Judy Koehler.
In the coming years the dedication shown by
DART dedication will be needed from all the residents as we strive to meet the
financial commitment we have made, and endeavor to understand and implement the
ideas of the community planner who will head a new non-profit corporation dedicated
to revitalizing Albion
Moreover, this is a grand opportunity to
benefit the whole county. The arbitrary
rules of the competition, which both Medina and
Albion fought against, were that only Albion
or Median could get the grant. Both
villages recognized that this made no sense in a county as small as Orleans. We need everyone in the county working
together, not competing, to forge a new reason for the county to exist.
This spirit of cooperation and support was
shown during the competition and continues now that Albion
has received the grant. As I write this,
the news is less than 18 hours old, but already there is talk of a celebration
party, including Medina, Holly, and Lyndonville,
all of whom, we hope, will benefit from what Albion
I will be very pleased if, in the coming
years, I can write a history that shows Orleans County
putting together a new plan for life in 2008.
It would a great change from store closings, loss of industry,
destruction of our landscape, and general hopelessness.
TABOOH—This coming Wednesday, September 17, I
will present another noontime history talk in the monthly Take a Bite Out Of
History series at the Swan LIBRARY, Albion. These one half hour talks are aimed at people
who want something interesting on their lunch break. The talks begin at 12:15 and end (theoretically)
at 12:45. You are invited to bring your
lunch--drinks and snacks are provided.
The topic this month is the second half of
George Pullman’s life—the popularization of his Palace Sleeping Car, the
building of the Pullman Memorial Church
in Albion, and the Pullman strike in 1894.
MOUNT ALBION CEMETERY TOUR—Orleans County
Historian C. W. Lattin and I will give our penultimate cemetery tour of 2008 at
Mount Albion on Sunday, September 21, at 2:00
PM. We have not yet decided on the tour
route, but since we have only two tours left for this year, we will do one on
the old east side and the other on the newer west side.
week: Back to the William Hart Farm.