Arts, Culture & Heritage
A fascinating mixture of agricultural, maritime, industrial and high-tech influences contribute to Northeast Michigan’s cultural heritage. A history of logging and agriculture, fishermen and sailors, high-tech visionaries and ambitious entrepreneurs have shaped the landscape of our community.
The area’s cultural and historical character was also formed by a unique amalgamation of maritime, agricultural and industrial influences. The past melds with the future as the community boasts two live theaters, two art galleries, two museum heritage centers, and vibrant live music scene. Enjoy a day or a month exploring the Alpena area’s art, culture, and heritage.
Northeast Michigan’s Center for Art, History, and Science.
ART: The Museum has an extensive collection of art that cannot be found any where else in Northeast Michigan, with works of art from Michigan artists such as Tom Moran to world renowned artists like Cezanne, Renoir, Dali, Picasso and Chihuly.
HISTORY: Dig for Devonian fossils in the Lafarge Fossil Park and keep all the fossils you find. Stroll through the Museum’s replica of an 1890’s Avenue of Shops. Explore the lumbering and farming history of Northeast Michigan. Visit the Peoples of Lakes and Forest Gallery, which houses a variety of Prehistoric and Native American artifacts unique to this region. Take time to explore the historic buildings on the Museum’s campus.
Science: See the Foucault Pendulum which gives visual proof the the Earth is rotating while demonstrating Newton’s Law of Motion. The only Planetarium in Northeast Michigan, the Besser Museum Sky Theater, is open every Saturday at 2 p.m. Visit and Shop the Museum Gift Store.
HOURS: Monday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ADMISSION: Adults $5.00, Senior & Child $3.00.
Brush Creek Mill was constructed on a site where previous mills once stood. Built on the banks of the Thunder Bay River, it was named for Brush Creek, which meets the river, flowing from Atlanta to Alpena. The mill demonstrates the power of moving water with a 22’ stainless steel water wheel, capable of grinding corn and wheat. The mill features a museum, meeting room/classroom and gift store featuring handmade crafts made by local artists and crafters. A wide variety of classes are offered including jewelry making, acrylic painting, fly tying, computer classes and more. The mill is open Memorial Day through mid-October. Hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays 11 am – 3 pm and Sundays noon until 3 pm. Closed on Mondays. Tours are available for groups.