Lumbering Era

1857- 1920

Alpena was founded on the purchase of timber lands. Four partners, George N. Fletcher, James K. Lockwood, John Oldfield and John S. Minor, carved out the town at the mouth of the Thunder Bay River to transport timber to Great Lakes markets.


The area was a rich resource and the area grew quickly as workers and new lumbermen rushed to get a piece of a lucrative timber pie. What began with about 2 million board feet of timber in 1860 peaked at nearly 220 million board feet in 1889.


Our mission is to collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit authentic articles and artifacts of art, history, and science to 

inspire curiosity, foster community pride, and cultivate personal legacy.

Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan


Monday - Saturday  -  10 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Sunday  - 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.



491 Johnson Street

Alpena, MI 49707