Albion Interactive History / Organizations / Albion Community Recreation Association

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / Organizations

Albion Community Recreation Association

Early in December of 1922, an invitation was given to the citizens of Albion who were interested in the recreational life of the city to meet together. The outcome of this meeting was that a request was made of the Playground and Recreation Association of America to send an organizer to Albion.

The guarantors of this new project were H.B. Parker, George E. Dean and C.G. Watson, and a temporary committee had been appointed consisting of H.C. Blair, Archer L. Young, Mrs. Claude J. Shattuck, Mrs. C.H. Clearwater, Mrs. R.R. Fox, Ralph W. Hartung, Harry Rosenthal, Don Harrington, Dr. G.C. Hafford and Earl G. Guyselman.

The purpose of this movement was to secure expert advice and assistance in developing citizenship through wholesome recreation and other constructive leisure time activities for our citizens.

On January 26, 1923, a representative of the National organization arrived in Albion to assist the committee of ten in developing their recreation program. A brief study of the situation developed the fact that an important part of the problem in Albion was the group of industrial workers, and that it would be advisable to have for a short time at least, a special athletic worker who could deal directly with the employees of the factories. Miss Edna B. Montgomerie was assigned to Albion for three weeks, and arrived February 19.

Mrs. Claude J. Shattuck was elected chairman of the temporary committee. A constitution was adopted, and plans were made for sending out a questionnaire, returns from which would naturally assist in determining the year-round program of activities to be developed. As a further step toward developing interest an Institute was planned for Recreation Leaders. The use of the high school gymnasium was secured for Tuesday and Thursday nights for two weeks. Attendance grew from forty the opening night to one hundred and fifty. Miss Montgomerie, following out the athletic work for which she was assigned here, organized seven indoor baseball teams, with certain evening set apart for practice in the high school gymnasium.

On March 23, 1923, Mrs. Shattuck called a meeting of the committee for the purpose of electing officers. Mr. George Schumacher was elected president. The executive committee elected at this meeting met the following morning and Daniel Kick was chosen as Director. He served in this capacity until May, 1928, and is president at the present time. The other officers are Fred Blanchard, vice-president; Mrs. LE. Seekell, secretary-treasurer; E.C. Biewend, Don Harrington, Emil Holtz, Charles Loud, D.M. McAuliffe, R.C. Neal and Norman Wiener serving with these officers as an executive committee.

During the eight years the interest in the yearly program has increased to a flattering extent. The past summer season, 1931, showed an attendance of 20,000 in excess of that the first year, on the playgrounds. Two leagues of playground ball have furnished recreation for approximately 200 participants and thousands of spectators. The night school and community nights at the high school during the winter months, furnished amusement and instruction for hundreds of Albion citizens and adults for many happy hours of healthful recreation.

This is only a brief outline of the activities of the Association. It is regrettable that lack of funds has made it necessary to suspend this work temporarily during the current depression.

Source: By Carl M. Creager in Krenerick, Miriam. Albion’s Milestones and Memories. Albion, MI: Art Craft Press. 1932. 79-80