William Hill established a fishing station in this area, known as the Cove, circa 1853. Early residents were fisherman who netted the once abundant schools of herring, whitefish and perch. John, Haynes and Co. began lumbering the area soon after the Civil War. Platted in 1880, but never incorporated, Alcona became a bustling lumber town with a number of sawmills, three hotels, a narrow gauge railroad and a freight dock. The dock was a popular stop for Great Lakes steamships carrying lumber, salted fish and passengers along the shores of Lake Huron. In 1880 residents witnessed the fiery destruction of the steamship Marine City. Townspeople generously offered refuge to the survivors. As the century ended, with the forests cleared and the fish gone, this once bustling town faded into oblivion.
Plaque via Michigan History Center