The museum began in the early 1960's as a gift to the community of Alpena from local
industrialist Jesse H. Besser. A planetarium was added as a public subscription gift to Mr.
Besser. Several early pioneer collectors donated material to the new institution- notably
Fred R. Trelfa, R.E. Wilson and Arthur Linke. The museum has a remarkable Native
American artifact collection obtained from Gerald Haltiner. Michigan copper culture material
and local early shales discs are especially notable. Other collections are in the areas of art
and science. The majority of the museum's archival collection will be transferred to the