Situated in the northern part of Alpena, Michigan, on Johnson Street, the Jesse Besser Museum is a viable cultural resource for residents and visitors in Northeast Michigan. The only accredited museum in the region, it is an ideal place to learn about the rich heritage of history, art and science.
Founded in the early 1960s, the museum features changing exhibits, lectures, workshops, and classes. Its striking galleries display artworks by painters, photographers, potters, and other artists drawn from across the area, state, and country.
Science collections are inthe areas of geology, natural history, and archaeology. Permanent exhibits include agricultural, lumber, and early industrial era; a reconstructed avenue of 1890-era shops and businesses; and restored cabins.
A group of restored 19th-century historic buildings on the museum grounds are open to the public during special museum events, such as the annual Fall Harvest Day observance on the first Saturday in October.
These buildings, all significant to the area’s history, include the Maltz Exchange Bank (1872), the Green School (1895), the McKay Cabin, and Spratt Church. A 1928 commercial fishing tug, the Katherine V on the grounds, also adds to its charm.
The museum's Sky Theatre Planetarium, the only one of its kind in Northeast Michigan, is a chief educational facility for area students. The mysteries of the heavens are explained inside the planetarium.
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