Downtown Alpena Through the Decades – The Alpena News

A rather large, important, and often overlooked part of Downtown Alpena is The Alpena News. This newspaper covers as many sports, news, and features from across Northeast Michigan as they can get to in each day. It includes everything from bake sales to craft shows to city council actions to goings-on in the local schools to courts and crime. The Alpena News covers our community and all of the important things happening in it in a way that nobody else can, and their amazing staff works hard every single day to deliver the top news stories and events each day so that the community can be aware and up to date. For this reason, we are also very grateful that The Alpena News is the oldest business in Downtown Alpena, so we want to share more about their history and how influential they have been in our downtown.

The Alpena Evening News was founded on August 1st, 1899, and it held this name until 1914 when it was officially titled The Alpena News. It originally operated out of a building from 115 to 119 River St. This building was eventually torn down and The Alpena News moved to its current location at 130 Park Place on December 1st, 1950, where it has remained ever since. The Alpena News did not begin as what it is now; there were originally six different news sources. The first news source, Alpena’s first newspaper, was titled as the Thunder Bay Monitor and was founded in 1863, before Alpena was established as a city. There were several other newspapers that rose in the late 19th and early 20th century including the Argus, the Pioneer, which was one of the originators with News Printing Co. who printed the Alpena Pioneer, the Farmer, the Echo, and The News. These all remained separate entities in Alpena until the end of the early part of the 20th century when The News absorbed all of the other newspapers to form The Alpena News.

“A newspaper is a community’s voice and a chronicler of its history in real time. That comes with great responsibility, but I love having that responsibility and I think The News lives up to that responsibility well,” says Justin Hinkley, Publisher/Editor of The Alpena News. Our newspaper that reflects all of the most important and influential details of our town each day is often an overlooked part of our history. It is amazing to go back and see how much is covered and how much work and effort is put into each piece, each story. “Plus, it is just a fun place to work!”

Over the years, The Alpena News has undergone many changes to adjust to the times and document the best news for the Alpena community. This included adding new font styles, changing the format of their newspaper, and adding new columnists and inserts. After 72 years of printing on Linotypes with heavy lead stereotype plates and a 24-page letterpress, The Alpena News switched to phototypesetting on paper with much thinner and lighter aluminum sheets and a 40-page offset press. And in 1986 The Alpena News also changed their ink so that their subscribers would no longer have the ink from reading their morning or evening papers rubbing off on their hands. They also joined United Press International (UPI) in 1972 which meant that The Alpena News could now bring the community news from state, national, and international events and affairs. From the very beginning of its creation, The Alpena News has been a supporting entity of a wonderful community; always doing its best to create excellent documentation and coverage of events that matter.

A large portion of the documents and historical records that are kept from the past are in great thanks to The Alpena News and the George N. Fletcher Public Library’s Special Collections. For this reason, we thought it very fitting to highlight The Alpena News as the first in a series of Downtown Alpena Through the Decades series. For the next few months, we will be continuing our historic journey into the last 50 years of Downtown Alpena and the businesses that have lasted decades and sharing changes they have seen in downtown. We are so proud of this district and all those who help to create the wonderful atmosphere that surrounds it.

Click any of the images in this text to zoom in and learn more about The Alpena News’ history!

Information and photos found throughout this post courtesy of Alpena George N. Fletcher Public Library and The Alpena News. Check out The Alpena News Facebook page or visit their website at

One thought on “Downtown Alpena Through the Decades – The Alpena News

  1. What a great story. In a time when small town, independent Newpapers are going away, we are so fortunate to still have a local source of news. Congratulations Alpena Newspaper.


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