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Alpena in Alpena County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

The Fletcher Coal Piers

 
 
The Fletcher Coal Piers Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 23, 2018
1. The Fletcher Coal Piers Marker
Inscription.  In November of 1856, George N. Fletcher assisted a survey crew in laying the footprint for the city of Alpena. Appreciative of the area's dense forest and the Thunder Bay River's ability to help transport raw materials, finished products, and fuel, Fletcher constructed a sawmill in 1858. When the lumber industry declined in the 1880s, the company began laying the foundation along the river for the Fletcher Paper Mill.

Repeated flooding along the Thunder Bay River forced Fletcher to continually reinforce the shoreline. Initially, fill materials and pilings were used. In 1906, a concrete coal dock was constructed atop a foundation of several thousand wooden pilings, using over 1,000 barrels of cement. The docks held more than 10,000 tons of coal, enough to enable the Fletcher Paper Mill to operate all winter.

Repaired, modified, and put back into service in 2007, the dock again provides a connection between land and water, only now it is used for research vessels, tall ships, and tour boats.
 
Erected by Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Trail.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in
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these topic lists: Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical month for this entry is November 1856.
 
Location. 45° 3.929′ N, 83° 25.973′ W. Marker is in Alpena, Michigan, in Alpena County. Marker can be reached from West Fletcher Street west of Merchant Street, on the left when traveling north. Marker is located along the Alpena Bi-Path, south of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife complex, beside the Thunder Bay River. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 480 West Fletcher Street, Alpena MI 49707, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Squeezing The Profit Margin (within shouting distance of this marker); Fast Steel Flyer: The Bulk Freighter Grecian (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Tragedy in the Mist: The Schooner E.B. Allen (about 400 feet away); A Shipbuilding Revolution (about 500 feet away); Bigger, Stronger, Faster (about 500 feet away); Harbor Tug Ralph (about 500 feet away); Steaming Open the Frontier (about 700 feet away); Research Vessels (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alpena.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a large composite plaque, mounted waist-high on a metal supporting rack.
 
Also see . . .
Marker sidebar photos image. Click for full size.
2. Marker sidebar photos

1. Fletcher Paper Company. During January 1898, George N. Fletcher and Sons commenced the erection of a large paper mill on Fletcher Street near Pine Street opposite their Sulphite Paper Pulp factory. The first paper was made on January 7, 1899 and was manila paper. The factory closed in the December 2000. (Submitted on August 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. History of Alpena Power Company. Alpena Power Company has been serving the Alpena area since 1881 when it was founded by George N. Fletcher. On October 10, 1881, the Alpena Electric Light Company held its first Directors Meeting. The company was formed for the “manufacture and production of electricity and electrical lights to supply the City of Alpena and the inhabitants thereof”. First entries in the construction accounts are dated, November 30, 1881. (Submitted on August 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
The Fletcher Coal Piers Marker (<i>wide view looking south across the Thunder Bay River</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, July 23, 2018
3. The Fletcher Coal Piers Marker (wide view looking south across the Thunder Bay River)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 26, 2018. It was originally submitted on August 21, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 394 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 22, 2024