Steam engines passed through Albion well into the 1950s. In this 1950 photo looking west from N. Superior St. crossing, we see the guard house just to the right of the steam engine. Manned 24 hours a day, a guard would come out with a stop sign to halt traffic when trains approached. This practice continued until the 1960s when automatic crossing gates were installed. To the right of the guard house is the city “comfort station” (public restrooms), a familiar fixture in Albion for many years. The comfort station was built in 1924, a gift of industrialist Warren S. Kessler, and served as a rest stop for travelers on the busy U.S. 12 highway. It was closed in July 1960 and remodeled into the Albion Chamber of Commerce headquarters, which opened at the site in September of the same year.
Source: Frank Passic. A Pictorial History of Albion, Michigan; From the Archives of the Albion Historical Society. Dallas, Texas: Curtis Media Corporation. 1991.