Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan – Alpena, Michigan
The Besser Museum was established from a gift of Jesse Besser and other contributors. The Besser Manufacturing Company got its start as a crude concrete block-making company prior to 1904. In 1904 Jesse Besser’s father obtained an old foundry and his future was set. Not only did they create blocks for domestic use they also, in time, expanded into the international market.
Jesse Besser grew up in Alpena, went to high school there and then to work for his father. It was while he was working his way up in the company that his ability at engineering became apparent. He redesigned the hand-operated block machine. He, at the age of 22, then started making improvements to every machine in the plant. Because of his genius the company won world leadership acknowledgement for Besser equipment.
When Jesse was 43 his father retired and Jesse became president of the Besser Manufacturing Company. During WWII the company converted to wartime production of winches and breech-blocks for the Navy.
The first block producing machine and the capacity of making 200 block during a 10 hour day. By 1954, machines could produce 10,000 during the same time period.
Due to the generosity of the Besser’s the community is blessed with this fabulous museum. The purpose of the Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan is an educational institution dedicated to serving the public of all ages and abilities in art, history, and science. Through research, it collects, preserves, and interprets artifacts, specimens, and information concerning the 15 counties in Northeast Michigan. Through programs and exhibits it promotes understanding and appreciate of the past and present.
The Museum offers a wide array of different art forms for you to enjoy. They also offer some wonderful experiences for the school children of the area and even provide teaching kits for area educators. Bring your children to the Museum for a fantastic learning experience.
There are hands-on stations that everyone will enjoy. Check out their Microworld microscope, Infinity Mirror, Leaf Hunt Challenge, Native American Scavenger Hunt, the Kid’s Corner and much more.
491 Johnson Street
Alpena, MI 49707
The Museum is open year round from
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday
The Museum is now OPEN on Monday!
Public planetarium shows are given on
Saturday at 2:00 p.m.
Admission for the Museum is:
$5 adults, $3 children, students, and seniors.
No charge to persons with disabilities or
children under 5.
Admission is free to all on
Wednesday’s from 3:00PM-5:00PM.
Planetarium shows are an additional $3 for adults and $2 for students. Under 5 is free.
Driving to the Museum:
Coming from the South follow US 23 through town. You will pass Alpena General Hospital on the right (East) as you come to the intersection of Johnson Street. Turn right (East). Besser Museum is on the left (North) about 1/4 mile from the intersection.
Coming from the West on M-32 follow it into town to the junction of US 23 (Chisholm Street). Turn left (North). Follow US 23 through town. You will pass Alpena General Hospital on the right (East) as you come to the intersection of Johnson Street. Turn right (East). Besser Museum is on the left (North) about 1/4 mile from the intersection