Michigan: Alpena County

Alpena County (pop. 29,598) is along the shore of Lake Huron, south of Presque Isle County. “Alpena” is a pseudo-Native American word invented by Henry Schoolcraft, Indian agent at Sault Ste. Marie.

The city of Alpena (pop. 29,598), the county seat, is at the mouth of the Thunder Bay River on Thunder Bay. It is the largest city in the northeastern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

Alpena Community College, with about 2,000 students, is the home of a statue of Paul Bunyan made of automobile parts.

Built in the ’60s from Kaiser car parts

The Alpena County Courthouse was built in 1934 in the Art Deco style.

The previous courthouse was destroyed by fire.

The Alpena Light is at the entrance to the Thunder Bay River.

Built in 1914

The unincorporated community of Ossineke (pop. 938) is the home of the Dinosaur Gardens Prehistoric Zoo.

Open summer only

The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, in Lake Huron, protects the sites of about 116 shipwrecks in the area.

The Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center in Alpena has displays about Lake Huron shipwrecks.

Open all year and free


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One comment on “Michigan: Alpena County

  1. John Dodds says:

    Wow, lots going on in this county. That’s kind of a creepy dinosaur.

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