In 1985 Albion celebrated its sesquicentennial. The Foundation was interested in participating in the celebration and providing the community with a lasting monument related to its commitment to riverfront development. The Foundation purchased the property and demolished the house at 212 East Erie St. adjacent to Rieger PArk for the development of a park and a sesquicentennial marker. The marker consists of split fieldstones placed in a river forks design, forming a bench for people to sit on. A desk was added overhanging the river, with walkways and flowers planted at various locations.
A dedication ceremony was held on September 20, 1986, during the Festival of the Forks celebration. Appropriately, the opriginal “forks” was located just south of the new park site. The Albion sesquicentennial marker plaque reads as follows:
Alkbion 1835-1985. Erected in celebration of 150 years of agriculture, commerce, education and industry, and as a challenge for 150 more years of community progress. A GOOD LIFE. The Albion Civic Foundation.
In 1987 the Foundation alloted $15,170 in matching funds to the City of Albion for riverfront land acquisition on the south side of the Kalamazoo River between N. Albion Street westwards to the city limits. The area was relatively untouched, and provided a variety of wildlife and foilage. The purchase project was assisted by the Michigan Land Trust Fund, with the requirement that the area be kept natural. The city parks department subsequently developed the land as a cross-country ski and nature trail and named it Jack McClure Park, in memory of the Albion mayor who died in 1991.
Source: Frank Passic. Presenting 25 Years of the Albion Community Foundation. 1993.