The town of Albany, Indiana, several miles north of Muncie, has remained surprisingly robust during its history. While other Indiana and Midwestern towns have withered on the vine, Albany has maintained a population of more than 2,000 people. It has a thriving downtown and local businesses.
Here’s a summer 2012 iPhone look at Albany.
For much of the 20th century, the McCormick Brothers company was the town’s biggest business. Founded in 1907 and lasting until the last quarter of the century, McCormick Brothers made a variety of metal products over the decades, beginning with washboards, moving into metal kitchen cabinets and then products for the war and interstate highway efforts.
While other businesses have occupied the sprawling McCormick Brothers plant, the most notable landmark remains its water tower, seen above.
Albany has a number of businesses in its downtown, including C.J.’s Hardware Store. C.J.’s is an old-fashioned hardware store with wooden floors, rolling ladders to help the store’s employees reach products on high shelves and the kind of broad but selective inventory that makes old-fashioned hardware stores fun to walk around in.
Albany has a five-and-dime store. For many years, McCord’s Five and Ten offered bulk candy, nuts, household goods and some curious items. The sign is still on display inside the store. Under new ownership now, the store still has what might be the area’s biggest selection of hairnets.
The great old-school packaging makes the hairnets look like leftovers from the 1960s, but the store still sells hairnets to food service workers around the area.
Mood rings, anyone? They have ’em.
One of the town’s churches was getting a new roof the day I was there.
This “ghost sign” for Colonial Break decorates the end of a building.
I’ve seen this sign, on the side of a building, before but never understood it. Would it light up, ring and alert passersby and police if a burglar alarm had been tripped? I’d like to know more about it.
One of Albany’s most popular restaurants, the Dairy Dream.