Alpena County, Michigan

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Alpena County, Michigan
Alpena County Courthouse - Alpena Michigan.jpg
Seal of Alpena County, Michigan
Seal
Map of Michigan highlighting Alpena County
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the United States highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Founded February 7[1], 1857
Seat Alpena
Largest city Alpena
Area
 • Total 1,695.00 sq mi (4,390 km2)
 • Land 574.15 sq mi (1,487 km2)
 • Water 1,120.85 sq mi (2,903 km2), 66.13%
Population
 • (2010) 29,598
 • Density 54/sq mi (21/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 2010 census, the population was 29,598.[2] The county seat is Alpena.[3] It is considered to be part of Northern Michigan.

It was founded originally in 1840 as Anomickee County. In 1843, the name was changed to Alpena, a pseudo-Native American word — a neologism coined by Henry Schoolcraft, meaning something like "a good partridge country."[4][5][1] This was part of a much larger effort to rename a great many of the Michigan counties at the time.[5] It was officially organized in 1857.[1][5]

Alpena County comprises the Alpena, MI Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Geography[edit]

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 located offshore adjacent to the county.

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 1,695.00 square miles (4,390.0 km2), of which 574.15 square miles (1,487.0 km2) (or 33.87%) is land and 1,120.85 square miles (2,903.0 km2) (or 66.13%) is water.[6]

The 45th parallel bisects the county, meaning it is half way between the North Pole and the equator.[7][8]

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[edit]

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.[9] Some of the inland lakes are truly massive.[10]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Highways[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
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%
Est. 2012 29,234 −1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[13]
2012 Estimate[14]

The 2010 United States Census[15] 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.[16]

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[15] 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.

Government[edit]

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,[17] namely Beaver Lake Park in Lachine;[18] Long Lake Park in Alpena;[19] and Sunken Lake Park in Posen[20]

Elected county officials[edit]

(information as of May 2012)

Communities[edit]

Cities

Villages

Unincorporated

Townships

Local events[edit]

There are many recurring local activities.[24]

  • Alpena Blues Festival, late June at The Alpena Fair Grounds and Merchant Building.[25]
  • Alpena County Fair, Alpena County Fairgrounds.
  • Alpena Earth Day Celebration, April 22. Location in Alpena varies. Food, games.[26]
  • 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.[27]
  • Habitat for Humanity-Alpena Area "Drive to Build" Charity Golf Outing
  • Lafarge Downtown Alpena Riverfest, in mid-June. Family event centered on the Thundre 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.[28]
  • 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.[29]

Local museums and landmarks[edit]

Historical markers[edit]

There are seven recognized historical markers in the county:[31]

  • 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

Other affiliations[edit]

Media[edit]

The Alpena News[33] is the daily newspaper of record for much of Northeast lower peninsula of Michigan. For a complete list of other media, see Alpena, Michigan.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Bibliography on Alpena County". Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University. Retrieved January 18, 2013. 
  2. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ a b c "Michigan government on place names". Retrieved January 18, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ List of 45th Parallel markers, with links to pictures
  8. ^ 45th Parallel sign picture.
  9. ^ Michigan regional geology.
  10. ^ Top 20 Michigan inland lakes.
  11. ^ Michigan highway history, M-32.
  12. ^ Pictures of ends of M-72
  13. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved June 23, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "American Factfinder". United States Census Bureau accessdate=March 11, 2012. 
  16. ^ "American Factfinder"
  17. ^ Alpena County Parks
  18. ^ Beaver Lake Park
  19. ^ Long Lake Park
  20. ^ Sunken Lake Park
  21. ^ Michigan Bar Journal, April 2012, p. 59
  22. ^ a b c d e f g Alpena County Directory. 2011–2012. Retrieved May 1, 2012. 
  23. ^ a b c d e Michigan Bar Journal, April 2012, p. 113
  24. ^ Alpena Chamber of Commerce calendar of events.
  25. ^ Alpena Blues Festival.
  26. ^ [1]
  27. ^ Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival
  28. ^ Reblin'Rods Car Show
  29. ^ Alpena Yacht Club training
  30. ^ Besser Museum home page
  31. ^ Michigan Historic Markers
  32. ^ Diocese of Gaylord.
  33. ^ The Alpena News

External links[edit]

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