Albion Interactive History / Eaton Street

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Eaton Street

Eaton Street was named after the U.S. Secretary of War. John Henry Eaton (1790-1856) served in that position under U.S. President Andrew Jackson from 1829-1834. Eaton also served as Governor of Florida, and as a minister to Spain. Eaton Street was one of Albion’s original streets when our town was platted by Jesse Crowell in 1836.

Eaton Street used to be called Duck Lake Road north of town, depending on wherever the city limits ended, beginning with Broadwell Avenue northwards. As boundaries were changed, so did the name of the street at various positions. When Interstate-94 was built, a third name was added: 28 Mile Road and it is interesting to find all three names listed for different addresses in city directories in the early 1960s.

The big commercial development on N. Eaton St. which helped make the area what it is today was the Town and Country Shopping Center. It was developed in the 1950s on the east side of the street on the former farmland of Albion physician Dr. Ara D. Sharp(1891-1970). One of the first businesses to develop at the site was Felpausch Foods, which opened on November 23, 1954. South of Felpausch was Sharp’s Hardware, and north of Felpausch was the Starlite Drive-In, later called A & W. The “Town and Country Branch” of the Bank of Albion later located itself between A & W and Felpausch. Grant’s Department Store was erected on the site where K-Mart is located today. The Standard Oil gas station opened in 1961, and next door the American Way Restaurant came in 1963.

1216 N. Eaton
1217 N. Eaton, Farm Bureau Insurance
1218 N. Eaton

1301 N. Eaton, Chemical Bank
1302 N. Eaton, Internal Medicine
1306 N. Eaton
1317 N. Eaton, Kentucky Fried Chicken

1402 N. Eaton, Felpausch Pharmacy
1406 N. Eaton, Felpausch Grocery Store
1407 N. Eaton, Albion Tire City
1410 N. Eaton, Fresh and Fast
1435 N. Eaton, Pizza Hut
1450 N. Eaton, K-Mart
1455 N. Eaton, Frosty Dan’s
1501 N. Eaton, Speedway Gas Station
1507 N. Eaton, McDonald’s
1508 N. Eaton, Burger King
1510 N. Eaton, Paradise Inn Restaurant
1521 N. Eaton, Ponderosa Steakhouse
Amoco Gas Station
200 B Drive, Big Boy
300 B Drive, Wyndham Woods Center
400 B Drive, Best Western
333 Bemer, Bob Frahm
27644 C Drive, Days Inn
Interstate 94
Shell Gas Station
Stadium Plaza

The new commercial development attracted other businesses, especially after Interstate-94 opened in 1960. Across the street Albion Motors came and sold Ford automobiles,and several gas stations were placed along the route such as Pure Oil, Enco, and Standard Oil. There were several business with their own character, such as the Satellite Drive-In with its imitation Mercury space capsule out front, and a trampoline place next door (south) that soon gained a reputation for injuries and show-offs. It wasn’t there for long. Albion’s answer to Shoppers Fair in Jackson was the Yankee Department Store,with the Kroger Supermarket, and Cunningham Drugs located in the same building. One feature of “Yankee Plaza” place along N. Eaton St. was its massive asphalt parking lot.When the U.S.12 by-pass was under construction in the late 1950s, N. Eaton St. was widened to accommodate the future Interstate-94 business route. Road concrete was poured in front of Felpausch, and someone drove their car over the fresh cement, ruining the pavement at that point which had to be replaced and delayed the reopening of the street. History has a way of repeating itself. Last fall someone drove across the landscaping where a Felpausch driveway was removed onto N. Eaton St., and the grass/dirt still bears the deep tire tracks today. One casualty of the widening of N. Eaton St. was the loss of majestic shade trees, similar to how the trees were also removed up and down the street this past fall.

Source: Frank Passic, FROM THE ARCHIVES, N. Eaton St. Developed in 1950s. Albion Recorder, March 14, 2002.

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