Michigan is the only state in the United States that consists of two peninsulas. The Upper Peninsula (UP) and Lower Peninsula (LP) are connected by the five-mile-long Mackinac Bridge, which is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world.
Alpena County, located in the northeastern part of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, has a rich history that dates back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by the Ojibwe and Menominee Native American tribes who relied on the region's abundant natural resources for their livelihood. European settlers began arriving in the 1830s, attracted by the area's access to waterways and forestry.

Incorporated in 1840, Alpena County saw a significant boom in the late 19th century with the rise of the lumber industry. The vast forests of the region provided the raw materials for building construction and the production of lumber products, leading to the establishment of numerous sawmills and a booming economy. This period of prosperity is often referred to as the "Lumber Era."

However, the extraction of timber took a toll on the forests, and by the early 20th century, the once-thriving lumber industry began to decline. In response, the people of Alpena County transitioned to other industries such as agriculture, mining, and manufacturing. The introduction of limestone quarrying and cement production brought about a new economic era for the county, which lasted well into the 20th century.

Today, Alpena County is a vibrant and diverse community known for its natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities. The county's strong ties to its past are evident in its preserved historic buildings and sites. It continues to evolve and adapt, embracing new industries such as tourism, healthcare, and education, while still honoring its rich history and heritage.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Alpena County, Michigan.

  • 1840s - European settlers begin arriving in the area that would become Alpena County.
  • 1850s - Lumbering becomes a major industry in the region.
  • 1857 - Alpena County is officially established.
  • 1871 - Alpena becomes a city.
  • 1880s - The lumber industry flourishes, and several sawmills are established in Alpena.
  • 1891 - Fire destroys much of downtown Alpena.
  • 1907 - The Cement Plant in Alpena begins operations.
  • 1940s - Alpena experiences growth and development due to World War II.
  • 1965 - Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary is established, protecting the wrecks of numerous shipwrecks in Lake Huron.
  • 1970s - The manufacturing industry grows in Alpena County.
  • 2000s - Alpena County sees a decline in population and a shift towards tourism and outdoor recreational activities.