HISTORIC MICHIGAN: Henry Ford’s Man-Made U.P. Town
Alberta is a Michigan town that isn't really a town at all. It's called an "unincorporated community" but there are no stores, no shops, no churches, no post office, no gas stations.
Alberta is located in the U.P. in Baraga County, 8 miles south of L'Anse. It was founded in 1936 by Henry Ford, who wanted to use the nearby Plumbago Creek and the surrounding timber for his automobiles. At the time, wood was the primary material for cars; Ford built a sawmill, 12 houses for employees and a couple of schools; he also dammed the river to create a small lake, or reservoir for water supply.
The old mill is still there but is nowadays used as a museum. In 1954, the town of Alberta was given away (donated) to the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science (at Michigan Tech. U.) and is currently used as the Ford Forestry Center and Research Forest as an education center for many U.S. universities.
Ford named the town after one of his executives' daughters...but which executive has been argued: either Fred Johnson or Edward Kingsford (of whom the town of Kingsford was named after, as well as Kingsford charcoal).
Take a look at the included photos.....and the next time you're in the U.P. take a quick drive-thru in Alberta and see another secluded site of Michigan history!