Saturday
May222010

Alanson History


Alanson was first settled in 1875. The Alanson post office opened on January 17, 1877 with the name "Hinman," but later changed it's name to "Alanson" on June 22, 1882. Alanson was named after Alanson Howard, grandson of W.O. Hugart, president of the G. R. & I. Railroad Company, which first came to Alanson during that time. Alanson incorporated as a village in 1905.

The wooden "High Bridge" was built in 1886, across the river on River Street. It was made to be 14 feet above the water, allowing larger boats to travel underneath it.

In 1905 three well known men built cottages/resorts primarily along Burt Lake. They were General Lew Wallace, author of “Ben Hur”, Judge K. Landis, former high commissioner of “Big League Baseball”, and Judge A. Anderson.

Alanson had only one saw mill, owned by Fox and Williams. The mill changed hands several times, first to Mr. Pool, then to J.L. Newberry, who added machinery for making shingles. Unfortunately, the shingle-making saw mill was destroyed by fire two years later. In the fall of 1890, Mr. DeForest of Chicago purchased the land where the mill had been and constructed a bowl factory in it's place. Hard maple bowls were manufactured from the hard maple logs of the surrounding forests. The bowl factory was later purchased by Mr. Teachout and sold again in 1902 to the Alanson Woodenware Co., owned by F. Hinkley, M. Bonz and G. Ormsby. In 1910 the mill was sold a final time to the Munising Woodenware Co. who moved the operation to Munising.

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