Alcona County, Michigan

Alcona County, Michigan

Infobox U.S. County
county = Alcona County
state = Michigan

map size = 200
founded = April 1, 1840
Organized in 1869
seat = Harrisville | area_total_sq_mi =1791
area_water_sq_mi =1116
area percentage = 62.33%
census yr = 2000
pop = 11719
density_km2 =7
web =


Alcona County is a county of the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the population is 11,719. Its county seat is Harrisville.GR|6


The county was created by the state legislature on April 1, 1840. [Powers, [;cc=micounty;idno=bac9250.0001.001;frm=frameset;seq=125 p. 87] ] It was at first named "Negwegon County", after the name of a well-known Chippewa chief, also known as "Little Wing", who was an American ally against the British in the War of 1812. It was renamed to Alcona County on March 8, 1843, after a neologism manufactured by Henry Schoolcraft from parts of words from Native American languages, plus Arabic, Greek and Latin [ [,1607,7-160-15481_20826_20829-54126--,00.html Names of Michigan Counties] ] , which were amalgamated to mean "fine or excellent plain". [Powers, [;cc=micounty;idno=bac9250.0001.001;size=l;frm=frameset;seq=132 p. 94] ] "See and compare", List of Michigan county name etymologies, List of Michigan counties, and List of abolished U.S. counties.

Initially, it was attached to Mackinac County for administrative purposes. The attachment shifted to Cheboygan County in 1853, to Alpena County in 1857, Iosco County in 1858, and Alpena County in 1859. Harrisville Township, then comprising the entire county, was organized in 1860. County government was organized in 1869. [Powers, [;cc=micounty;idno=bac9250.0001.001;size=l;frm=frameset;seq=126;view=image;page=root p. 88] ] The County's slogan on its seal (a single gold star on a green field in the shape of Alcona County) is "First of 83," which refers to its place alphabetically among Michigan counties. [ [ Alcona County official website.] ]


*According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,791 square miles (4,637 km²), of which, 674 square miles (1,747 km²) of it is land and 1,116 square miles (2,891 km²) of it (62.33%) is water.
*Alcona County has been a part of developing the Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport, which became a public airport in 1993. It now occupies a portion of the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base, which is in Oscoda Township, Michigan in neighboring Iosco County, Michigan. It is primarily used for cargo and light general aviation activities. The Airport offers 24-hour near all weather daily access.
*The area is part of the Au Sable State Forest, specifically the
** Grayling FMU (Alcona, Crawford, Oscoda, and northern Iosco counties).
*The county is considered to be part of Northern Michigan.

Geographic Features

*Hubbard Lake, which is among the top 20 largest inland lakes in the state. [ [ Top 20 Michigan inland lakes.] ]
*Lake Huron
*Additionally, the county has other many lakes, including:
Alcona Lake, Badger Lake, Bear Lake, Brownlee Lake, Byron Lake, Cedar Lake, Clear Lake, Crooked Lake, Crystal Lake, Curtis Lake, Honawan Lake, Horseshoe Lake, Hunter Lake, Indian Lake, Jewell Lake, Lost Lake, North Hoist Lake, North Lake, O'Brien Lake, Poplar Lake, Reid Lake, South Hoist Lake, and Tompson Lake. [ [,1607,7-153-30301_31431_31560-67533--,00.html Michigan Department of Natural Resources maps of lakes in Alcona County.] ]

Major highways

US Highways


Michigan State Trunklines

*. It is one of three true cross peninsular highways. [ [ History of Michigan highways] . ]

Alcona County Intercounty Highways


Adjacent counties

Geographic Location
Centre = Alcona County
North = Alpena County
East = Lake Huron
South = Iosco County
Southwest = Ogemaw County
West = Oscoda County
Northwest = Montmorency County|

National protected area

* Huron National Forest (part)


The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts,keeps files of deeds and mortgages, maintains vital records, administers public health regulations, andparticipates with the state in the provision of welfare and other social services. The countyboard of commissioners controls the budget but has only limited authority to make laws or ordinances. InMichigan, most local government functions — police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, streetmaintenance, etc. — are the responsibility of individual cities and townships.

Presently, the Alcona County Circuit Court is part of the 23rd Circuit of Michigan. This is a multicounty circuit, which also includes Arenac, Iosco and Oscoda Counties. Until relatively recently, this court was part of the 26th Circuit, which included Alpena and Montmorency Counties.

Alcona County elected officials

* Prosecuting Attorney: Thomas J. Weichel
* Sheriff: Douglas Atchison
* County Clerk: Patricia A. Truman
* County Treasurer: Anna McCoy
* Register of Deeds: Karen V. Healy
* Road Commissioners: Al Scully; Richard A. Karsen, Sr.; Everett M. Schram

(information as of September 2005)


As of the census 2000, [ [ Statistical profile of Alcona County, Michigan] , United States Census Bureau, Census 2000] there were 11,719 people, 5,132 households, and 3,566 families residing in the county. The population density was 17 people per square mile (7/km²). There were 10,584 housing units at an average density of 16 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.04% White, 0.16% Black or African American, 0.62% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.06% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. 0.69% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 23.0% were of German, 13.5% English, 9.9% American, 9.2% Irish, 7.7% Polish, 7.5% French and 5.0% French Canadian ancestry according to Census 2000. 98.2% spoke English as their first language.

There were 5,132 households out of which 20.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.10% were married couples living together, 5.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.50% were non-families. 26.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.67.

In the county the population was spread out with 19.00% under the age of 18, 4.60% from 18 to 24, 20.90% from 25 to 44, 31.00% from 45 to 64, and 24.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 49 years. For every 100 females there were 102.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,362, and the median income for a family was $35,669. Males had a median income of $29,712 versus $20,566 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,653. About 9.10% of families and 12.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.80% of those under age 18 and 9.00% of those age 65 or over.

Notable events

The annual Alcona County Fair is located at the Alcona Recreation Area site in Lincoln. It occurs near the end of August. [ [ Alcona County Government] ]

Ignoble person

Alcona County has been forced to explore options to remedy a major budget shortfall resulting from an official's embezzlement. Former County Treasurer Thomas Katona pleaded guilty in June 2007 to charges that he embezzled over 1.2 million dollars from county funds to invest them into a Nigerian scam he fell for. [ [ "Officials begin talks on how to make painful budget cuts,"] "The Bay City Times", May 31, 2007.] [ [,1607,7-164--170122--,00.html Michigan Attorney General press release] , June 12, 2007]

Katona was sentenced to 9-14 years imprisonment on June 12, 2007 by the 23rd Circuit Court. Judge William Myles said Katona's crimes warranted more severe punishment than called for in state sentencing guidelines, due to the amount of money involved and the number of victims in the case. [ [ "Former Alcona treasurer sentenced to 9-14 years,"] "The Bay City Times", June 13, 2007. Accessed June 24, 2007.]

Other affiliations

*Alcona County is considered to be part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gaylord. [ [ Diocese of Gaylord.] ]

Cities, villages, and townships

* Harrisville
* LincolnUnincorporated
* Alcona
* Alvin
* Backus Beach
* Barton City
* Black River
* Curran

* Curtisville
* Glennie
* Greenbush
* Hubbard Lake
* Killmaster

* Larson Beach
* Lost Lake Woods
* Mikado
* Springport
* Spruce

*Alcona Township
*Caledonia Township
*Curtis Township
*Greenbush Township
*Gustin Township
*Harrisville Township
*Hawes Township
*Haynes Township
*Mikado Township
*Millen Township
*Mitchell Township

Historical markers

There are two recognized historical markers in the county: [ [ Michigan Historic Markers] ]
*Greenbush School.
*West Harrisville Depot in Lincoln.
*Springport Inn, [ [ Springport Inn.] ] Springport home of Civil War Captain Joseph VanBuskirk. [ [ Platt, Connie Faussett, Northern Journal (November-December, 2004), "Captain Joseph VanBuskirk of Springport (Harrisville, Michigan)".] ]



*The "Alcona County Review", located in Harrisville, is the newspaper of record, and has served the community since 1877. [ [ "Alcona County Review"] ]
*The "Alpena News" serves the northeastern lower peninsula. [ [ "Alpena News" (serving N.E. Michigan)] ]
*The "Oscoda Press" is a weekly newspaper serving southern Alcona County and northern Iosco County. [ [ Oscoda Press home page] ]
*Daily editions of the "Detroit Free Press" and "The Detroit News" are also available throughout the area.


Bibliography and further reading

*cite book |title=History of the Lake Huron shore. With illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers. |origyear=1883 |url= |accessdate=2007-04-11 |year=2005 |publisher=University of Michigan Library |location=Ann Arbor, Mich. |pages = pp. 255-274 |chapter=History of Alcona County | chapterurl=;cc=micounty;idno=bad0770.0001.001;size=l;frm=frameset;seq=315
*cite book |last=Powers |first=Perry Francis |title=A history of northern Michigan and its people |origyear=1912 | |accessdate=2007-04-11 |year=2005 |publisher=University of Michigan Library |location=Ann Arbor, Mich. |pages = pp. 498-505 |chapter=Alcona County |chapterurl=;frm=frameset&view=image&seq=536
* [ Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University, Bibliography on Alcona County]

External links

* [ Alcona County Government]
* [ Alcona County Review Newspaper]
* [ Alcona County Historical Society]
* [ Alpena News (serving N.E. Michigan)]
* [ Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University, Bibliography for Alcona County]
* [ "Enchanted forest", Northern Michigan source for information, calendars, etc.]
* [ Harrisville City Airport information and map]
* [ Harrisville Harbor, information, webcam, etc.]
* [ Information and links about Harrisville]
* [,1607,7-153-30301_31431_31560-67533--,00.html Michigan Department of Natural Resources maps of lakes in Alcona County.]
* [ Sunrise side travel and information]

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