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Albion, Michigan
City
Location of Albion, Michigan
Location of Albion, Michigan
Country United States
State Michigan
County Calhoun
Area
 • 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)
 • Total 8,616
 • Estimate 
(2012)
8,546
 • Density 1,953.7/sq mi (754.3/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
49224
Area code(s) 517
FIPS code 26-00980
GNIS feature ID 0619906

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 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.

History

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.

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.

Superior Street Commercial Historic District
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.
  • 1960s: Ann Landers was presented with a key upon her visit to Starr Commonwealth for Boys.

Geography

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. Albion is positioned 42.24 degrees north of the equator and 84.75 degrees west of the prime meridian.

Climate

Climate data for Albion
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 33.6
(0.89)
31.8
(-0.11)
41.6
(5.33)
55.5
(13.06)
70.0
(21.11)
79.8
(26.56)
85.6
(29.78)
82.3
(27.94)
74.2
(23.44)
60.5
(15.83)
44.0
(6.67)
36.5
(2.5)
57.95
(14.417)
Average low °F (°C) 19.8
(-6.78)
17.2
(-8.22)
26.6
(-3)
38.3
(3.5)
49.8
(9.89)
59.6
(15.33)
63.8
(17.67)
61.3
(16.28)
54.6
(12.56)
43.0
(6.11)
31.0
(-0.56)
24.8
(-4)
40.82
(4.898)
Precipitation inches (mm) 2.0
(51)
1.7
(43)
2.4
(61)
3.2
(81)
3.7
(94)
3.7
(94)
3.3
(84)
3.1
(79)
3.3
(84)
2.7
(69)
2.6
(66)
2.3
(58)
33.9
(861)
Source: Weatherbase

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 881
1880 2,716
1890 3,763 38.5%
1900 4,519 20.1%
1910 5,833 29.1%
1920 8,354 43.2%
1930 8,324 −0.4%
1940 8,345 0.3%
1950 10,406 24.7%
1960 12,749 22.5%
1970 12,112 −5.0%
1980 11,059 −8.7%
1990 10,066 −9.0%
2000 9,144 −9.2%
2010 8,616 −5.8%
2015 (est.) 8,229 −4.5%
Source: Census Bureau. Census 1960- 2000, 2010.

2010 population by gender/age

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

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

2010 population by race

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%

Transportation

Rail

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

Bus

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

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