Mr. Wilson was born in Canada in 1874 and moved to Alpena at the age of six months. In 1908,
he began as a driver for the Alpena Fire Department; he was appointed Fire Chief in 1914. He
was an avid collector of historical documents and Alpena artifacts which he first housed in the
fire station. After his retirement, the material was housed in his home. He died in 1951, and the
collection was later dontated to the Jesse Besser Museum (Besser Museum for Northeast
This collection contains ledgers from the City of Alpena dating from 1857 as well as
photographs of the Alpena area and Fire Department.
(Currently being processed; donated by Clarissa Howe, 2006,2007).
R.E. Wilson Collection Inventory