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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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City of Alpena: 1899

City of Alpena: 1899

Circa 1899. "Sidewheeler City of Alpena." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

        The CITY OF ALPENA, launched from the Detroit Dry Dock Co. in Wyandotte in 1893, was one of several elegant paddlewheel steamboats operated by the Detroit & Cleveland Line out of Detroit. The line dated to 1849 and eventually included 10 large vessels, serving ports all over Lake Erie and Lake Huron.

        The impressive CITY OF ALPENA and sister ship CITY OF MACKINAC were 285 feet long and driven by 2,000-horsepower steam engines. They carried as many as 400 passengers along with significant cargoes of package freight, merchandise and foodstuffs. They provided a critical link to big cities like Toledo, Detroit and Saginaw in the years before completion of railroads and highways to the communities of booming Northeast Michigan.

        The CITY OF ALPENA was taken off the "Coast Line to Mackinac" in 1921 when the lumbering industry had moved to the West Coast and railroads connected most of the towns in the region. She operated afterward on Lake Michigan as the CITY OF SAUGATUCK, and ended up in the late 1930s as a barge, carrying pulpwood and later petroleum products. The once-proud ship was broken up for scrap in 1957.

-- C. Patrick Labadie, Historian
Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

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SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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