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The Albion Cold Storage Company in 1905

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 October 2013 at 12:00 am

ALBION – About a century ago it was touted in advertisements as “one of the largest and best refrigerating plants in the U.S.”

That was the bold proclamation in 1905 when the Albion Cold Storage Company was featured in a souvenir book of Albion businesses.

Orleans County Historian Bill Lattin dropped off a copy of the photo and the book following Thursday’s fire at the building. Frank Zicari of Albion also emailed Orleans Hub the photo from 1905, four years after the plant opened. It towers three stories above ground and also appears to include a basement.

The structure has been declared a total loss after being engulfed in flames on Thursday. Demolition crews are expected to knock down the remaining walls soon. Two of the walls were pushed over in the piles of smoldering rubble on Friday.

In the photo from 108 years ago, hundreds of apple barrels are stacked outside. The advertisement notes the building had a capacity for 75,000 barrels of refrigerated space and 25,000 barrels of dry storage.

“We use carbonic acid gas for refrigeration,” the company states in its ad. “There is no danger in case of leaks either to the fruit or persons who might be in the rooms.”

Lattin notes the cold storage had a very loud steam whistle that is pictured left of the smoke stack at right. The whistle went off at noon.

“It could be heard for miles around,” Lattin said.