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Albion churches will host stained glass tour on Saturday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 April 2014 at 12:00 am

Merchants also planning for ‘Sip and Stroll Through History’ wine-tasting event for August

File photos by Tom Rivers – A crowd views the stained glass window at the First United Methodist Church during a tour of windows in the seven historic Albion churches in December. The Good Shepherd window was a gift to the congregation by the church’s pastor in 1914, the Rev. Henry Clay Woods.

ALBION – On a very cold December day about 30 people, including several from outside Orleans County, came to Albion for a first-time tour of the stained glass windows at the seven churches in the historic Courthouse Square.

County Historian Bill Lattin led the tour, and he shared details about the designers of the windows, the symbolism and Biblical stories in the designs, and some background on the people memorialized with some of the windows.

“We had such good feedback about the event that we wanted to do it again,” said Debbie Grimm, one of the organizers for this Saturday’s stained glass tour.

It runs from noon to 1:30. Besides tours of the churches, the event will conclude with refreshments at Hoag Library. The library also includes a stained glass window of a swan. For more than a century Albion’s public library was called the Swan Library until a new site opened in July 2012.

Tony Mancuso of Elba takes a photo on the stained glass window tour in December. He is shown inside the sanctuary at Christ (Episcopal) Church.

The tour on Saturday starts at the Pullman Memorial Universalist Church at the corner of East Park and Main streets. The Pullman church has more than 40 windows created by Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, perhaps the most esteemed stained glass artist.

Tiffany revolutionized the stained glass world. Stained glass windows, prior to Tiffany, tended to have clear glass with a stencil pattern painted on the glass. Lattin discusses breakthroughs and changing techniques in stained glass.

The Albion churches have examples of windows from the 1860s to 1960s. Lattin wrote a book about Orleans County’s stained glass windows: “Luminaries in the Firmament.”

The Albion Merchants Association is organizing the stained glass tour and a sidewalk sale. Many businesses will participate in the sidewalk sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Genesee-Orleans Ministry of Concern will also be having an open house and collecting household and personal care items.

The Merchants Association also is planning a wine-tasting event with about 20 stops on Aug. 9. The “Sip & Stroll Through History” will show off the historic downtown and Courthouse Square.

“We want to put on community events and bring people to Albion,” said Carolyn Ricker, president of the Merchants Association. “We want to promote our history and draw people here.”