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Oldest surviving photo of downtown Albion shows Empire Block

Posted 5 June 2014 at 12:00 am


By Bill Lattin
Orleans County Historian

ALBION – This photo is the earliest view of downtown Albion that is known to exist.

It is labeled “Old ‘Empire Block’ burned Dec. 18th 1868.” Therefore our picture was taken before that.

This is the corner of Main Street and East Bank Street. The second block to the left is still there now housing Snell Realty and Fischer’s Newsstand.  To the very far left is the old Burrows Block, part of which now houses Krantz Furniture.

Other buildings in this scene are long gone. Signage on the Old Empire Block includes: “Orleans American” (newspaper), “Dentist” and “Job Printing.”

Note the number of chimneys on all these buildings for heating stoves in a day and age before central heat.