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Alpena County, Michigan
Alpena County Courthouse - Alpena Michigan.jpg
Alpena County Courthouse
Seal of Alpena County, Michigan
Seal
Map of Michigan highlighting Alpena County
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the U.S. highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Founded February 7[1], 1857
Seat Alpena
Largest city Alpena
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,695 sq mi (4,390 km²)
572 sq mi (1,481 km²)
1,123 sq mi (2,909 km²), 66%
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

28,907
66/sq mi (25/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.alpenacounty.org

Alpena County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 28,907.[2] The county seat is Alpena.[3] It is considered to be part of Northern Michigan.

Alpena County comprises the Alpena, MI Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History[]

A detail from A New Map of Michigan with its Canals, Roads & Distances (1842) by Henry Schenck Tanner, showing Alpena County as Anamickee, the county's name from 1840 to 1843.[4] Several nearby counties are also shown with names that would later be changed.

The county was created by the Michigan Legislature in 1840 as Anamickee County, then renamed in 1843 to Alpena County,[4] a pseudo-Native American word — a neologism coined by Henry Schoolcraft, meaning "a good partridge country."[1][5][6][7] This was part of a much larger effort to rename a great many of the Michigan counties at the time.[7] It was officially organized in 1857.[1][7]

Geography[]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,695 square miles (4,390 km2), of which 572 square miles (1,480 km2) is land and 1,123 square miles (2,910 km2) (66%) is water.[8]

Alpena County is in the northeast of the mitten-shaped Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Lake Huron and Thunder Bay are to the east, Alcona County to the south, Oscoda County to the southwest, Montmorency County to the west, and Presque Isle County to the north. Most of the county is drained by the Thunder Bay River and its tributaries. The Mackinaw State Forest occupies large tracts of land in the county. The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary is offshore adjacent to the county.

The 45th parallel bisects the county, meaning it is halfway between the North Pole and the equator.[9][10]

Several islands in Thunder Bay are part of the Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge. There are automated lighthouses on Middle Island and Thunder Bay Island.

Geographic features[]

  • Thunder Bay River
  • Long Lake
  • Grand Lake

Glaciers shaped the area, creating a unique regional ecosystem. A large portion of the area is so-called Grayling outwash plain, consisting of broad outwash plain including sandy ice-disintegration ridges; jack pine barrens, some white pine-red pine forest, and northern hardwood forests. Large lakes were created by glacial action.[11] Some of the inland lakes are truly massive.[12]

Adjacent counties[]

Major highways[]

  • US 23 serves Alpena on its way along the Lake Huron shoreline. To the north, it passes past Long Lake and Grand Lake, thence to Rogers City, Michigan, through Cheboygan, Michigan, and on to Mackinaw City, Michigan, where it ends and connects to I-75 and the Mackinac Bridge.
  • M-32 ends its 100-mile (160 km) easterly cross-peninsular route from Lake Michigan to Lake Huron within downtown Alpena at an intersection with US 23.
  • M-65 is a more direct route to the south than US 23, which meanders along the lake shore through many villages and towns. M-65 goes north to Rogers City.

National protected area[]

  • Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge (part)

Demographics[]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 290
1870 2,756 850.3%
1880 8,789 218.9%
1890 15,581 77.3%
1900 18,254 17.2%
1910 19,965 9.4%
1920 17,869 −10.5%
1930 18,574 3.9%
1940 20,766 11.8%
1950 22,189 6.9%
1960 28,556 28.7%
1970 30,708 7.5%
1980 32,315 5.2%
1990 30,605 −5.3%
2000 31,314 2.3%
2010 29,598 −5.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]
1790-1960[14] 1900-1990[15]
1990-2000[16] 2010-2020[2]

The 2010 United States Census[17] indicates Alpena County had a 2010 population of 29,598. This is a decrease of -1,716 people from the 2000 United States Census. Overall, the county had a -5.5% growth rate during this ten-year period. In 2010 there were 12,791 households and 8,164 families in the county. The population density was 51.8 per square mile (20.0 square kilometers). There were 16,053 housing units at an average density of 28.1 per square mile (10.8 square kilometers). 97.5% of the population were White, 0.5% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.3% Black or African American, 0.1% of some other race and 1.1% of two or more races. 1.0% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 26.8% were of German, 19.5% Polish, 12.9% French, French Canadian or Cajun, 8.1% English, 6.4% Irish and 5.7% American ancestry.[18]

There were 12,791 households, out of which 25.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were husband and wife families, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 36.2% were non-families, and 30.8% were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.81.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 20.9% under age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 20.8% from 25 to 44, 31.5% from 45 to 64, and 19.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 96.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.1 males.

The 2010 American Community Survey 3-year estimate[17] indicates the median income for a household in the county was $36,242 and the median income for a family was $46,718. Males had a median income of $27,002 versus $15,670 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,713. About 2.5% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.2% of those under the age 18 and 10.0% of those age 65 or over.

Religion[]

Alpena County is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord.[19]

Government[]

United States presidential election results for Alpena County, Michigan[20]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 10,686 62.91% 6,000 35.32% 301 1.77%
2016 9,090 61.55% 4,877 33.02% 801 5.42%
2012 7,298 51.79% 6,549 46.48% 244 1.73%
2008 7,125 47.11% 7,705 50.95% 294 1.94%
2004 7,665 50.39% 7,407 48.70% 139 0.91%
2000 6,769 47.90% 7,053 49.91% 310 2.19%
1996 4,525 33.54% 7,114 52.73% 1,853 13.73%
1992 4,878 32.37% 6,894 45.75% 3,297 21.88%
1988 6,664 51.05% 6,341 48.58% 49 0.38%
1984 8,212 61.30% 5,136 38.34% 49 0.37%
1980 6,901 49.89% 5,834 42.18% 1,097 7.93%
1976 6,380 49.59% 6,310 49.04% 176 1.37%
1972 6,513 55.05% 5,104 43.14% 214 1.81%
1968 5,717 50.77% 4,788 42.52% 756 6.71%
1964 3,954 34.47% 7,508 65.45% 10 0.09%
1960 6,573 56.41% 5,071 43.52% 9 0.08%
1956 7,142 70.18% 3,033 29.80% 2 0.02%
1952 6,248 66.32% 3,134 33.27% 39 0.41%
1948 4,313 60.30% 2,743 38.35% 96 1.34%
1944 4,453 60.78% 2,856 38.98% 18 0.25%
1940 4,822 57.19% 3,597 42.66% 13 0.15%
1936 3,536 49.97% 3,231 45.66% 309 4.37%
1932 3,222 45.99% 3,562 50.84% 222 3.17%
1928 3,467 63.43% 1,984 36.30% 15 0.27%
1924 4,628 75.78% 948 15.52% 531 8.69%
1920 3,467 63.38% 1,893 34.61% 110 2.01%
1916 2,020 57.93% 1,392 39.92% 75 2.15%
1912 709 19.99% 1,105 31.15% 1,733 48.86%
1908 2,358 68.07% 949 27.40% 157 4.53%
1904 2,498 69.37% 907 25.19% 196 5.44%
1900 2,283 59.34% 1,435 37.30% 129 3.35%
1896 1,777 51.03% 1,665 47.82% 40 1.15%
1892 1,526 49.11% 1,536 49.44% 45 1.45%
1888 1,486 47.14% 1,504 47.72% 162 5.14%
1884 927 43.87% 1,127 53.34% 59 2.79%



The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts, keeps files of deeds and mortgages, maintains vital records, administers public health regulations, and participates with the state in the provision of welfare and other social services. The county board of commissioners controls the budget but has only limited authority to make laws or ordinances. In Michigan, most local government functions — police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, street maintenance, etc. — are the responsibility of individual cities and townships.

The County operates three parks (and camp grounds) with beaches on local lakes,[21] namely Beaver Lake Park in Lachine;[22] Long Lake Park in Alpena;[23] and Sunken Lake Park in Posen[24]

Elected officials[]

  • Probate Judge: Thomas J. LaCross[25][26]
  • Prosecuting Attorney: K. Edward Black[26][27]
  • Sheriff: Steven Kieliszewski[26][27]
  • County Clerk: Bonnie Friedrichs[26][27]
  • County Treasurer: Joelyn McCallum[26][27]
  • Register of Deeds: Kathy J. Matash[26][27]
  • Drain Commissioner: Don Wood[26]

(information as of May 2012)

Events[]

There are many recurring local activities.[28]

  • Alpena Blues Festival, late June at The Alpena Fair Grounds and Merchant Building.[29]
  • Alpena County Fair, Alpena County Fairgrounds.
  • Alpena Earth Day Celebration, April 22. Location in Alpena varies. Food, games.[30]
  • Besser Museum Log Cabin Day, last Sunday in June. Approved by the Michigan legislature passed a bill to make Log Cabin Day an annual event to be held on the last Sunday in June. The Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan spotlights their own two log cabins on this day and celebrates by offering old fashioned, family activities.
  • Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival, second weekend in October.[31]
  • Habitat for Humanity-Alpena Area "Drive to Build" Charity Golf Outing
  • Lafarge Downtown Alpena Riverfest, in mid-June. Family event centered on the Thunder Bay River, celebrating Alpena's lumbering history. Professional lumberjack shows, entertainment, music, storytelling, chainsaw carving, food, and games.
  • Michigan Brown Trout Festival, a week in mid-July.
  • Ramblin' Rods Car Show, second weekend in August at Mich-E-Kewis Park, Alpena.[32]
  • Shelter, Inc. "Garden Walk", nine Gardens, all in Alpena, MI. 49707
  • Sunrise Side Heritage Bike Ride, Second weekend in September. Ride Along Lake Huron Shoreline (US - 23) to Mackinac Bridge then South to West Branch (M-33).
  • Thunder Bay Arts Council's "Art on the Bay" at beautiful Bay View Park in Alpena. A Juried Fine Arts and Fine Crafts Fair which coincides with The Michigan Brown Trout Festival. There are over one Hundred and Fifty Artist will fill more than 180 booths with their original artwork.
  • Thunder Bay Maritime Festival takes place at 500 W. Fletcher Street, Alpena, MI. 49707. It is presented by the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve.
  • Youth Sailing Instruction and Training is offered by the Alpena Yacht Club.[33]

Media[]

The Alpena News[34] is the daily newspaper of record for much of Northeast lower peninsula of Michigan. For a complete list of other media, see Alpena, Michigan.

Arts and culture[]

Museums[]

  • Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan[35]
  • Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Historical markers[]

There are seven recognized historical markers in the county:[36]

  • Alpena County Courthouse
  • Alpena City Hall
  • The Daniel Carter Family
  • First Congregational Church [Alpena]
  • Monarch Mill
  • St. Bernard Catholic Church
  • World's Largest Cement Plant

Communities[]

U.S. Census data map showing local municipal boundaries within Alpena County. Shaded areas represent incorporated cities.

City[]

Village[]

  • Hillman (partially)

Charter township[]

  • Alpena Charter Township

Civil townships[]

  • Green Township
  • Long Rapids Township
  • Maple Ridge Township
  • Ossineke Township
  • Sanborn Township
  • Wellington Township
  • Wilson Township

Census-designated place[]

  • Ossineke

Other unincorporated communities[]

  • Bolton
  • Cathro
  • Herron
  • Hubbard Lake
  • Lachine
  • Leer
  • Spratt

See also[]

  • Alpena Community College
  • List of Michigan State Historic Sites in Alpena County, Michigan
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Alpena County, Michigan

References[]

  1. ^ a b c "Bibliography on Alpena County". Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University. https://www.cmich.edu/library/clarke/AccessMaterials/Bibliographies/MichiganLocalHistory/Pages/alpena.aspx. 
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/alpenacountymichigan/POP010220. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Counties/Pages/FindACounty.aspx. 
  4. ^ a b Newberry Library. "Michigan: Individual County Chronologies". http://publications.newberry.org/ahcbp/documents/MI_Individual_County_Chronologies.htm. 
  5. ^ Romig, Walter (October 1, 1986). Michigan Place Names: The History of the Founding and the Naming of More Than Five Thousand Past and Present Michigan Communities (Paperback). Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 081431838X. 
  6. ^ (1962) "A History of the Place Names of Alpena County". Wilderness Chronicle (19–21). 
  7. ^ a b c "Michigan government on place names". http://www.michigan.gov/hal/0,1607,7-160-15481_20826_20829-54126--,00.html. 
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. https://www.census.gov/geo/maps-data/data/docs/gazetteer/counties_list_26.txt. 
  9. ^ "45th Parallel North America". wurlington-bros.com. http://www.wurlington-bros.com/Museum/45th/NAmer.html. 
  10. ^ "Google Groups". keyhole.com. http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/showflat.php/Cat/0/Number/236626. 
  11. ^ "NPWRC :: Regional Landscape". usgs.gov. http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/habitat/rlandscp/s7-2-2.htm. 
  12. ^ Top 20 Michigan inland lakes. Script error: No such module "webarchive".
  13. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census.html. 
  14. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. http://mapserver.lib.virginia.edu. 
  15. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/cencounts/mi190090.txt. 
  16. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t4/tables/tab02.pdf. 
  17. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov. 
  18. ^ Data Access and Dissemination Systems (DADS). "U.S. Census website". census.gov. https://www.census.gov. 
  19. ^ "The Diocese of Gaylord, Michigan : A Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church - Diocese of Gaylord". dioceseofgaylord.org. http://www.dioceseofgaylord.org/. 
  20. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS. 
  21. ^ Alpena County Parks Script error: No such module "webarchive".
  22. ^ Beaver Lake Park Script error: No such module "webarchive".
  23. ^ Long Lake Park Script error: No such module "webarchive".
  24. ^ Sunken Lake Park Script error: No such module "webarchive".
  25. ^ Michigan Bar Journal, April 2012, p. 59
  26. ^ a b c d e f g Alpena County Directory. 2011–2012. http://www.alpenacounty.org/directory/2011%202012%20directory.pdf#zoom=75. 
  27. ^ a b c d e Michigan Bar Journal, April 2012, p. 113
  28. ^ Alpena Chamber of Commerce calendar of events. Script error: No such module "webarchive".
  29. ^ "Alpena Blues Festival". alpenablues. http://www.alpenablues.com. 
  30. ^ "Log into Facebook - Facebook". Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_149824395076320.. 
  31. ^ "Lighthouse Festival - Lighthouse Festival". Lighthouse Festival. http://www.lighthousefestival.org/. 
  32. ^ Reblin'Rods Car Show Script error: No such module "webarchive".
  33. ^ "Alpena Yacht Club - Sailing School - Alpena, Michigan". alpenayachtclub.com. http://www.alpenayachtclub.com/sailingschool.shtml. 
  34. ^ "News, Sports, Jobs - The Alpena News". http://www.thealpenanews.com. 
  35. ^ Neighbor Hub. "Home - Besser Museum". bessermuseum.org. http://www.bessermuseum.org/. 
  36. ^ "Michigan Historical Markers". michmarkers.com. http://www.michmarkers.com/Frameset.htm. 

External links[]

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Coordinates: 45°02′N 83°12′W / 45.04, -83.20


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Alpena County, Michigan. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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