Alpena () is the only city and county seat of Alpena County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 10,483 at the 2010 census. After Traverse City, it is the second most populated city in the Northern Michigan region. The city is surrounded by Alpena Township, but the two are administered autonomously. It is the core city of the Alpena micropolitan statistical area, which encompasses all of Alpena County and had a total population of 28,360 at the 2010 census. Located at Thunder Bay along the shores of Lake Huron, the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary is located in the city. The population swells with many visitors and tourists during the summer months.
MidMichigan Health, which is a federally-designated rural regional medical referral center, is the largest employer in the city.It was originally part of Anomickee County founded in 1840, which in 1843 was changed to Alpena, a pseudo-Native American word — a neologism coined by Henry Schoolcraft, meaning something like “a good partridge country.” This was part of a much larger effort to rename a great many of the Michigan counties at the time.Most of the city was lost in the Great Michigan Fire of 1871. Less than one year later, on July 12, 1872, Alpena was hit by another fire, the largest in its history, which destroyed 15 acres of homes and businesses for a total amount of 65 buildings.
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