Questions, Anyone?

Alpena News masthead

Q. Reader Paul Lance, formerly of Alpena and now in California, asks why the Alpena News has a different masthead on weekends. During the week the masthead says “The Alpena News,” but on Saturday-Sunday, it says “The News.”

A. Alpena News Editor/Publisher Bill Speer explains, “Back in the early 90s The Alpena News introduced the expanded Weekend Edition as we know it today. The intent was to provide Northeast Michigan readers with a version of their community newspaper that contained all the elements of a typical Sunday newspaper – color comics, TV Guide, feature magazine, coupons, etc.

“At the same time, we made a conscious decision to expand our normal circulation area to include new areas further outside our typical zone, particularly in Iosco County.

“We had learned from an earlier publication – Discover Thunder Bay Country – that what you name a product, and how it is branded, can make a huge difference in the acceptance of that product. Thus, since we were expanding further out of our “normal” zones, we decided to drop Alpena out of the masthead and add a more recognizable regional look to the masthead – the Sunrise Side sun that was developed by one of our staffers.

“Today the Saturday newspaper is our largest selling newspaper each week.”

Alpena in the mid-1920s

Q. What was happening in Alpena in the mid- 1920s?

A. In his book “The Town That Wouldn’t Die”, Bob Haltiner gives the following account.


March 29 – St. Pauls Lutheran Church destroyed by fire.

March 29 – Alpena County House (poor farm) destroyed by fire.

April 20-23 – Flood. Bridges washed out – both Chisholm and 9th Street.

July 6 – Angular parking of autos in business district inaugurated.

July 12 – Award contract for new County Infirmary on bid of $51,000.


April 7 – Three men motor to here from Detroitthe first to make the entire distance by motor.

May 9 – Ford Motor Co. buys 4,162 acres of stone land and a mile of lake frontage on North Shore of Thunder Bay. June 2 – Council officially names Stoney Point Camping Grounds Mich-e-ke-wis Park.

June 18 – Completion of breakwater at mouth of Thunder Bay River at cost of $75,000.

July 21 – Nancy Knudles and Andrew Forthoffer killed in unsolved case.

August 20 -New 9th Street Bridge opened to traffic.


January 20 – $150,000 fire levels the Maltz Theatre. February 23 – Alpena Garment Company buys 6th and Chisholm Streets site.

June 15 – First Alpena owned airplane arrived here. Purchased by Lawrence Aviation Company of Alpena.

July 4 – Mammoth parade opened Alpena Homecoming Week.

December 2 – Formal opening of new Maltz Theatre. New sign has 800 light bulbs.


April 24 – Two million fish planted in Thunder Bay.

July 22 – Island Mill, Alpena’s last saw mill, cuts its final log.

July 29 Mich-e-ke-wis Bath House formally opened.

August 9 – Vandals knife 31 tires on cars parked near Alpena Hotel.

August 27 – Alpena Garment Company, largest plant of its kind in the world, was at work on largest order in history of the industry.

December 5 – St. Pauls Lutheran Church dedicated.”

Please send comments or questions to or to The Alpena News at 130 Park Place, Alpena, MI 49707.