Alpena, Michigan

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Alpena, Michigan
City
The Alpena Light at the Alpena Municipal Marina
Nickname(s): A-Town
Motto: Warm and Friendly Port
Location of Alpena within Alpena County, Michigan
Coordinates: 45°3′42″N 83°25′58″W / 45.06167°N 83.43278°W / 45.06167; -83.43278Coordinates: 45°3′42″N 83°25′58″W / 45.06167°N 83.43278°W / 45.06167; -83.43278
CountryUnited States
StateMichigan
CountyAlpena
Animickee1840
Alpena1871
Government
 • MayorMatt Waligora
Area[1]
 • Total9.23 sq mi (23.91 km2)
 • Land8.54 sq mi (22.12 km2)
 • Water0.69 sq mi (1.79 km2)  7.48%
Elevation591 ft (180 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total10,483
 • Estimate (2012[3])10,340
 • Density1,227.5/sq mi (473.9/km2)
Time zoneEST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code49707
Area code(s)989
FIPS code26-01740[4]
GNIS feature ID0620017[5]
Websitealpena.mi.us
 
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Alpena, Michigan
City
The Alpena Light at the Alpena Municipal Marina
Nickname(s): A-Town
Motto: Warm and Friendly Port
Location of Alpena within Alpena County, Michigan
Coordinates: 45°3′42″N 83°25′58″W / 45.06167°N 83.43278°W / 45.06167; -83.43278Coordinates: 45°3′42″N 83°25′58″W / 45.06167°N 83.43278°W / 45.06167; -83.43278
CountryUnited States
StateMichigan
CountyAlpena
Animickee1840
Alpena1871
Government
 • MayorMatt Waligora
Area[1]
 • Total9.23 sq mi (23.91 km2)
 • Land8.54 sq mi (22.12 km2)
 • Water0.69 sq mi (1.79 km2)  7.48%
Elevation591 ft (180 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total10,483
 • Estimate (2012[3])10,340
 • Density1,227.5/sq mi (473.9/km2)
Time zoneEST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code49707
Area code(s)989
FIPS code26-01740[4]
GNIS feature ID0620017[5]
Websitealpena.mi.us

Alpena /ælˈpnə/ is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Alpena County.[6] It is considered to be part of northern Michigan. The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary is located in the city. The population was 10,483 at the 2010 census. The population swells with a large number of visitors in the summer.

Despite its small population, it is by far the largest city in the sparsely populated Northeast Michigan (lower peninsula) area, serving as its commercial and cultural hub. It is considered to be one of the two anchor cities of Northern Michigan, along with Traverse City. The Alpena Regional Medical Center is a federally designated rural regional medical referral center, and is the largest employer in the city.[7]

Development[edit]

It was originally part of Anomickee County founded in 1840, which in 1843 was changed to Alpena, a pseudo-Native American word — a neologism coined by Henry Schoolcraft, meaning something like "a good partridge country."[8][9][10] This was part of a much larger effort to rename a great many of the Michigan counties at the time.[9]

The region, known as the "Sunrise Side" from its location on the east shoreline of Michigan, was first a site of commercial fishing activity and is still home to extensive commercial fishing activities. Later the region, like much of Michigan, was shaped by the logging era of the 1800s. Today, Alpena is known for its limestone quarry, one of the largest in the world, owned and operated by the Lafarge corporation and is a major cement manufacturer and exporter. While at one time the largest in the world, the cement plant is now just the largest cement plant for Lafarge in North America with an annual capacity of almost 3 million tons of cement.[11] Alpena is also the world headquarters of Besser Company, a manufacturer of concrete block machines. Tourism (fishing, hunting, camping and a variety of water sports) is also important to Alpena's economy.

In February 2007 Bizjournals ranked Alpena as the hottest retirement destination in the Great Lakes area[12] and #44 nationally.[13]

The city has a number of notable buildings, including the Art deco Alpena County Courthouse and Temple Beth El, one of the oldest synagogues in the United States.

Geography and climate[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.23 square miles (23.91 km2), of which, 8.54 square miles (22.12 km2) of it is land and 0.69 square miles (1.79 km2) is water.[1] The city is on the shore of Lake Huron's Thunder Bay, with Alpena Township surrounding it on land.

Access to natural resources and water transportation has been important in development of the community. Light stations and lighthouses[14][15] surround Alpena.[16] Several islands off the coast in Thunder Bay are part of the Michigan Islands National Wildlife Refuge, and Scarecrow Island is part of the Michigan Islands Wilderness Area. Charity, Little Charity, Scarecrow, and Thunder Bay Islands form the Lake Huron division of the Michigan Islands NWR. There are lighthouses on Charity (abandoned) and Thunder Bay Islands.

Climate data for Alpena, Michigan
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °F (°C)55
(13)
62
(17)
75
(24)
93
(34)
94
(34)
100
(38)
100
(38)
100
(38)
99
(37)
87
(31)
77
(25)
65
(18)
100
(38)
Average high °F (°C)26.7
(−2.9)
28.1
(−2.2)
36.1
(2.3)
48.3
(9.1)
60.8
(16)
70.7
(21.5)
76.7
(24.8)
75.3
(24.1)
67.7
(19.8)
55.4
(13)
42.5
(5.8)
32.0
(0)
51.69
(10.94)
Average low °F (°C)12.0
(−11.1)
12.1
(−11.1)
21.1
(−6.1)
32.8
(0.4)
44.0
(6.7)
53.4
(11.9)
59.4
(15.2)
57.9
(14.4)
50.1
(10.1)
39.5
(4.2)
29.4
(−1.4)
19.4
(−7)
35.92
(2.18)
Record low °F (°C)−21
(−29)
−24
(−31)
−13
(−25)
6
(−14)
21
(−6)
32
(0)
39
(4)
36
(2)
29
(−2)
20
(−7)
1
(−17)
−12
(−24)
−24
(−31)
Precipitation inches (mm)1.70
(43.2)
1.34
(34)
1.86
(47.2)
2.13
(54.1)
2.83
(71.9)
2.58
(65.5)
3.17
(80.5)
3.43
(87.1)
3.10
(78.7)
2.43
(61.7)
2.02
(51.3)
1.84
(46.7)
28.43
(722.1)
Snowfall inches (cm)14.8
(37.6)
11.7
(29.7)
9.0
(22.9)
2.4
(6.1)
.2
(0.5)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
.2
(0.5)
4.1
(10.4)
13.8
(35.1)
56.2
(142.7)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)14.210.610.711.211.410.810.311.212.312.612.313.5141.1
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)9.16.54.11.3.10000.12.06.830.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours108.5135.6195.3222.0279.0294.0316.2257.3195.0142.684.074.42,303.9
Source: The Weather Channel (records),[17] NOAA (normals, 1971–2000),[18] HKO (sun)[19]

Transportation[edit]

Air[edit]

A U.S. Air Force Reserve Bell HH-1N Huey (s/n 69-6612) taking off on maneuvers during a reserve rescue exercise at Phelps Collins Air National Guard Base

Alpena County Regional Airport (IATA: APN, ICAO: KAPN, FAA LID: APN) is the northeast lower peninsula of Michigan's main commercial airport and handles daily Delta Connection flights to Detroit and Minneapolis/St. Paul operated by SkyWest Airlines. It is a public-use airport located in Wilson Township, Michigan six miles (10 km) west of the central business district of Alpena. The Michigan Air National Guard's Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center co-utilizes the airfield.

Rail[edit]

Alpena is situated along the Lake State Railway, formerly the Detroit and Mackinac Railway (D&M).[20] Earlier railroads that served Alpena were built and owned by the Alger Smith and Co. logging company: (1) the Detroit, Bay City and Alpena Railroad which entered Alpena from the south around 1886; and (2) the Alpena and Northern Railroad.[21]

Bus[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Demographics[edit]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 10,483 people, 4,734 households, and 2,565 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,227.5 inhabitants per square mile (473.9 /km2). There were 5,278 housing units at an average density of 618.0 per square mile (238.6 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.8% White, 0.5% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.

There were 4,734 households of which 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.3% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 45.8% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.84.

The median age in the city was 42.5 years. 20.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.7% were from 25 to 44; 27.9% were from 45 to 64; and 19.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.7% male and 52.3% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 11,304 people, 4,874 households, and 2,865 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,348.9 per square mile (520.8/km2). There were 5,200 housing units at an average density of 620.5 per square mile (239.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.66% White, 0.42% African American, 0.43% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.09% from other races, and 0.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.59% of the population.

There were 4,874 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.1% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.2% were non-families. 35.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.0% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 26.5% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 19.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,353, and the median income for a family was $40,056. Males had a median income of $34,534 versus $21,951 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,476. About 10.4% of families and 13.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.

Education[edit]

Alpena, along with the rest of Alpena County and portions of Presque Isle County, is served by Alpena Public Schools. Alpena Public Schools was established as the first county-wide school district in the state of Michigan in 1963. The district has one high school, a junior high, an alternative/adult high school, and six elementary schools. The elementary schools are Besser, Ella White, Hinks, Lincoln, Sanborn, and Wilson Elementary Schools. Geographically, it is the largest school district in the Lower Peninsula, encompassing more than 620 square miles (1,600 km2).

There are three private schools in Alpena. All Saints Catholic School is affiliated with the four Roman Catholic parishes in the city (St. Anne's, St. Bernard's, St. John the Baptist and St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception) and provides preschool to 6th grade education. Immanuel Lutheran School is supported by the Immanuel Lutheran Church and has preschool to 8th grade classes. The Alpena SDA Elementary School is a Seventh-Day Adventist school that has offers elementary education. Bingham Arts Academy, a charter school run by Mosaica, also provides classes from preschool to 8th grade.

Alpena is also home to Alpena Community College. ACC is a two-year associates program that has partnerships with Spring Arbor University and several other Michigan institutions. Within Alpena Community College is the World Center for Concrete Technology (WCCT). The WCCT draws a worldwide enrollment of students for classes in Concrete Technology, including a Master Blockmakers Degree for 5-class-accomplished students.

Economy[edit]

While tourism is an important component of the area's economy, both Alpena and Rogers City have an industrial base. In particular, Alpena is home to Lafarge's cement plant and to Besser Company (maker of a concrete block making machinery), as well as a drywall board manufacturing facility owned by Decorative Panels International. Rogers City is the location of the world's largest limestone quarry, which is used in steel making in the Great Lakes and Rust Belt regions.

Alpena's primary shopping center is the Alpena Mall, the only enclosed shopping mall in the northeastern Lower Peninsula, featuring approximately 20 stores, with JCPenney and Gordon Food Service as the anchor stores.[28]

Fletcher Street Brewing Company is in Old Town on the Thunder Bay River.[29]

Alpena is also home to the Alpena Thunder hockey team.

Historical markers[edit]

There are seven recognized historical markers in the city:[30]

Media[edit]

Print[edit]

Radio[edit]

Alpena is home to several radio stations.

AM[edit]

Call SignFrequencyFormatCity Broadcast From
WHAK960Classic HitsRogers City
WATZ1450Talk/NewsAlpena

FM[edit]

Call SignFrequencyFormatCity Broadcast From
WPHN90.5ReligiousGaylord
WCML91.7PublicAlpena
WFDX92.5Classic HitsAtlanta
WKJZ94.9/98.1Variety HitsHillman
WATZ99.3/96.7CountryAlpena
WHAK99.9OldiesRogers City
WWTH100.7Classic RockOscoda
WMJZ101.5Variety HitsGaylord
WKJC104.7CountryTawas City
WGFM105.1/103.7RockCheboygan
WHSB107.7Hot ACAlpena

Television[edit]

Alpena is the third smallest (208) Nielsen Designated Market Area (DMA) in the United States.

There is only one locally programmed terrestrial Television station located within the Alpena DMA:

Rebroadcasts of other television stations include:

Cable only television:

Northeast Michigan is also served by selected major network affiliates from the Northern Michigan and Mid-Michigan DMAs, as well as CBC Television programming from CBMT in Montreal. Cable television service is provided within Alpena and many outlying communities by Charter Communications.

Annual cultural and sporting events[edit]

There are many recurring local activities. A calendar is available.[32]

Local cultural institutions[edit]

Thunder Bay Theater

Local libraries, museums and landmarks[edit]

Notable people[edit]

Notable people were born in, or have lived in, Alpena, include:[42]

Alpena in popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  7. ^ Alpena Regional Medical Center
  8. ^ Herron, Catherine; Herron, Nelston R. (Fall, Winter, Spring 1990; Summer, Fall, Winter 1991; Spring, Summer, Fall 1991). "A History of the Place Names of Alpena County". Wilderness Chronicle (19, 20, 21). Retrieved January 18, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Michigan government on place names". Retrieved January 18, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Bibliography on Alpena County". Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University. Retrieved January 18, 2013. 
  11. ^ Michigan Historical Markers
  12. ^ Bizjournal retirement ranking, Great Lakes[dead link]
  13. ^ Bizjournal retirement ranking, national[dead link]
  14. ^ "Historic Light Station Information and Photography: Michigan". United States Coast Guard Historian's Office. 
  15. ^ National Park Service. "Michigan Lighthouses" (PDF). Michigan Department of State. 
  16. ^ Alpena harbor light a/k/a Sputnik
  17. ^ "Monthly Averages for Alpena, MI (49707)". The Weather Channel. Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Climatography of the United States No. 20: ALPENA WASTEWATER PL, MI 1971–2000" (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  19. ^ "Climatological Normals of Alpena". Hong Kong Observatory. Retrieved October 23, 2011. 
  20. ^ Detroit and Mackinac Railway pictures and history
  21. ^ Older railroads have been removed in the past years and are now used for snowmobiles. Michigan Railroad history for Alpena.
  22. ^ "BAY CITY-ALPENA-CHEBOYGAN-ST. IGNACE". Indian Trails. March 19, 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-03. 
  23. ^ US 23 Highway ends photographs.
  24. ^ 45th Parallel sign picture.
  25. ^ List and map of 45th Parallel markers, with links to pictures (accessed 12/17/2007)
  26. ^ Michigan highway history, M-32.
  27. ^ Pictures of ends of M-72.
  28. ^ "Alpena Mall". Pure Michigan. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  29. ^ Fletcher Street Brewing Company.
  30. ^ Michigan Historic Markers
  31. ^ The Alpena News
  32. ^ Alpena Chamber of Commerce calendar of events.[dead link]
  33. ^ Alpena Blues Festival.
  34. ^ Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival causes.
  35. ^ Reblin'Rods Car Show[dead link]
  36. ^ Sunrise side bike ride.[dead link]
  37. ^ Thunder Bay Theatre.
  38. ^ Alpena Yacht Club training
  39. ^ Besser Museum home page
  40. ^ Great Lakes Maritime Heritage CenterOfficial website
  41. ^ Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center
  42. ^ Robert E. Haltiner. "The Town That Wouldn't Die: Alpena, Michigan". MIGenWeb. 
  43. ^ Internet Movie Database, Die Hard 2.
  44. ^ Dinosaur Gardens Prehistoric Zoo, RoadsideAmerica.com

External links[edit]