OLD MICHIGAN LUMBER TOWN: Alger, in Arenac County
The little town of Alger was a perfect candidate to become one of Michigan's ghost towns, but it managed to struggle through, despite the loss of its lumber business.
Alger is located in Arenac County's Moffatt Township and was established in 1883. The town was named after Russell A. Alger, who constructed a railroad junction alongside the Michigan Central Railroad. This junction brought in many travelers and business, and soon a whole town sprang up.
The town prospered, thanks to the lumber business. Soon, Alger had a blacksmith, churches, general store, grist mill, hotel, several restaurants, saloons, sawmills, schoolhouse, and a stave mill.....and the town's namesake, Russell A. Alger, became Michigan's 20th governor from 1885-1887.
In 1896 timber was being depleted and the railroad ceased operations, as others did up into the early 1900's. No timber, no railroads, no businesses. Other small towns in the area, like Culver and Wells, no longer exist but Alger survived, although harshly downsized, and today has a population of around 1,000.
The pictures below show Alger as it is now. Take a drive to Alger someday and get more great photos for yourself!