Autumn in Alberta, Michigan

October 7, 2008

DSC_6567

DSC_6567, photo by jsorbieus.

Jim took this photo in Alberta, Michigan, an unincorporated community in L’Anse Township of Baraga County:

The community was originally founded in 1936 after Henry Ford declared the banks of the Plumbago Creek to be an ideal spot for a sawmill. Ford named the town “Alberta” after the daughter of one of his top executives, Edward G. Kingsford.

At the time Ford established Alberta, wood was used extensively in automobiles. Mr. Ford envisioned the town as a model sawmill community; consisting of twelve houses, two schools, and a steam driven mill built to the most modern standards of the day. The Plumbago Creek was dammed to provide a reservoir to serve the town and mill’s water supply needs. The mill was a two-story white clapboard wood frame structure and still stands, now housing a portion of the Alberta Village Museum. The saw mill had a capacity of 14,000 board feet per day for hardwood and 20,000 board feet per day for softwood. This was a small capacity even by 1936 standards, with Mr. Ford’s other three mills in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan producing twenty to twenty-five times as much.

In 1954, Ford Motor Company donated the town of Alberta, Michigan and 1700 acres of land to what is now the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science at Michigan Technological University.

Alberta buildings still standing on the property are used as a museum, support research and teaching programs for forestry and ecology majors, and are used by numerous universities from around the United States for forestry education.

Read more about The Ford Center from MTU.

Jim has a whole lot more big, background sized photos of fall’s glory in his U.P. set (slideshow). You can see more photos from the area on the Flickr map for Alberta.

More autumn wallpapery fresh in the Michigan in Picturesfall wallpaper collection!

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