The Albion Hotel is a taste of country and country’s past. Our building itself is a relic from almost a century and a half ago, and we’ve kept that feel with restoration projects and antique country furnishings. But there is another relic from the past that, even if we wanted it to, just won’t go away…
In the 1890s The Albion Hotel was run by Edward and Maria Elliot. They lived in the hotel as they operated it, and had a large family of sons and daughters. Tragedy ran its course, however, and several of the sons had died by 1895. Edward, the father, died in early 1896. Maria, the mother, continued to operate the hotel aided by two of her sons and two daughters. A third son lived in Detroit, Michigan.
On November 8, 1897, Harvey Elliot, Maria’s 21-year-old son, went out for an afternoon of drinking with two of his friends. He returned to The Albion late in the evening, meeting his younger brother Frederick in bar. Frederick was running the hotel for the evening, and was the cool-headed member of the family that Mrs. Elliot relied on to take care of the business. Harvey and his friends had a drink in the bar, and then planned to go out again. Frederick decided he wanted to go out too. He normally kept a revolver with him as he operated the hotel and bar as well as when he slept. Since he prepared to go out with Harvey, Frederick put the revolver in his pocket and closed up the bar.
Harvey, however, wasn’t so keen on having little Frederick tag along, and began arguing with his brother. Harvey was known as a riotous drunk and, after some cursing, tried to push Frederick back into the hotel. A heated argument was growing hotter.
Lily–one of the Elliot sisters–and Harvey’s friends were trying to calm the quarrel. But Harvey was becoming more violent. Around 10 PM, in The Albion’s front doorway, Frederick’s revolver came out. Frederick warned Harvey that he would shoot him but, in his inebriated state, Harvey apparently retorted back with fearlessness and charged at Frederick. The gun was aimed, and Harvey was shot in the upper-middle of his chest.
Immediately after Harvey was hit with the bullet the family and Harvey’s friends tried to save him. It seems they tried to get Harvey a drink, and then brought him inside the hotel bar, where the dining room is today. All this to no avail, however: Harvey died minutes after the shot, forever leaving a blood stain on the wooden floor. Newspaper accounts say Frederick was crying with remorse. Even upon waking in the morning after a doctor had administered a sedative, Frederick was wrecked with guilt.
Harvey was buried. Frederick was shown some mercy and sent to jail on manslaughter charges rather than murder. But some say that Harvey still thinks he lives in the hotel. There have been reports of bar taps turning on by themselves, glasses randomly crashing to the floor, books flying off shelves, and a barroom light coming on by itself in the middle of the night.