Alpena, AR - Carroll County

"In the neighborhood of Alpena, shadowy blue bulks of mountains punctuate the horizon and deep ravines drop abruptly from the ridgetops that carry the highway. As a visitor once said, 'It's not the mountains are so high, but that the valleys are so deep.'" ~ Federal Writers Project, 1958

History of AlpenaBack to Top

Originally known as "Estes" and later "Alpena Pass", the town of Alpena sits near Long Creek at the eastern border of Carroll County. Although technically a Boone County community, parts of the city limits extend into Carroll County. It is said to have been named for the mountainous "alpine" terrain in that vicinity. One of the earliest families to settle near Alpena was the historic family of Bruce Boyd, who is said to have arrived in the 1820's and established the first water mill.

Government land surveys indicate evidence of settlement improvements in this location as early as 1837, but the town didn't see any significant growth until the year 1900 when the railroad added a nearby route just North of (and parallel to) Alpena's Main Street. At this time, additional blocks were platted on both sides of the tracks and the town applied for a new post office. The scenery began to change as local farmers harvested timber to be sold as railroad ties during the drought of 1901.

With a budding population of 450 people, the 1901 list of structures in Alpena Pass included:
1 Barber Shop
2 Blacksmith Shops
2 Churches
1 Drug Store
3 General Stores
2 Hotels
1 Livery Stable
1 Lumberyard
1 Poultry House
1 Physician
1 Post Office
1 Printing Office
1 Railroad Depot
1 Railroad Tavern
3 Real Estate Agents
1 School with 50 Pupils
Within six years, three additional general stores, a bank, and a flour mill were added to Alpena. A number of buildings were also transferred to Alpena from Carrollton, which had already fallen into a state of decline since losing the county seat, and would further suffer from the lack of a railroad connection. Carrie Nation, the infamous temperance activist, lived in Alpena Pass in 1909. Historical records that there was also a sandstone quarry in Alpena Pass in 1914. By 1920, Alpena acted as a significant county trading center, due in part to the addition of a local canning factory, sawmill, and spoke factory. A local newspaper, The Alpena Searchlight was produced by Robert Eddins from 1905-1915. Alpena Pass would shorten its name to just "Alpena" by the 1950's. At present, some of the structures along Main (Front) Street appear to be in a state of disrepair, and some of the historic stone buildings are being dismantled.

Some of the early pioneers of Alpena included members of the following families: Ayres, Bailey, Barr, Bayne, Bellamy, Bishop, Blakmon, Boyd, Breeding, Brown, Burgess, Byerly, Cantwell, Carson, Center, Clark, Clifford, Coker, Collins, Coulson, Craig, Crisham, Curtis, Davis, Deberry, Denton, Dillingham, Dillon, Easter, Farmer, Faulkner, Fields, Foley, Fox, Furgason, Gibbs, Gifford, Grant, Green, Grisham, Gurley, Harrington, Hammons, Hartnett, Hobbs, Hooper, Hopper, Jackson, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones, Kennedy, Kirkham, Kirkpatrick, Lane, Langston, Lawson, LeGrand, Loback, Magness, Maples, Marley, Martin, McCurry, McGehee, Mealman, Mills, Mitchell, Nancy, Plumlee, Powell, Price, Rader, Rains, Ramey, Rice, Richardson, Savage, Sellers, Shipman, Shrum, Sims, Smith, Stacy, Stanphill, Stevens, Storm, Teegarden, Thompson, Wallace, Watkins, Watson, Whitaker, White, Wise, Wymore, and Wynne.

Alpena Photo Gallery

Alpena City Hall and Information CenterShops in Downtown Alpena, ArkansasContemporary Post Office in AlpenaEntrance to Historic Alpena CemeteryAlpena Pass Public Park PavilionAlpena Downtown Shopping DistrictOld Storefronts in AlpenaShops in Downtown AlpenaRuins of an Old Building in AlpenaOld Alpena Hardware StoreShop in Old Town Alpena PassRag Barn in Alpena
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