Chronological History of Albion’s West Ward.
- Brown vs. Board of Education
- West Ward School Closes
The agitation that led to the closing of Albion’s segregated West Ward School was a precursor of the larger civil rights struggle in the 1950s United States. The tactics employed – protest, use of NAACP legal support, taking the issue beyond control of the local governing body – were those that would be used in the near future to desegregate schools across the country.
The closing of Albion’s once segregated school came seven months before the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education which outlawed the doctrine of “separate but equal.”
- African American School Opens
At the request of African American parents who settled the surrounding neighborhood, Albion School Board approved West Ward School for African American students and teachers. Students were educated at the Community Church on Cass Street, built for the new arrivals by Albion Malleable Iron Company, until the West Ward School alterations could be completed.
- Dalrymple School Opens
- African American Migration to Albion Begins
Albion's chapter of the Great Migration begins when workers are recruited from the South to work in the Albion Malleable Iron Company.
- West Ward School Erected
West Ward School was erected in 1873 as a two-room school populated mostly by the children of European immigrants.
- Native Migrations
Potawatomi and other neighboring native tribes inhabited and traversed this area of South Central Michigan. The Territorial Road (now approximately I-94) and the Kalamazoo River were the main travelled routes from the interior to Detroit for trade and treaty annuities.