In 1891-92 the Chicago and West Michigan Railway, precursor to the Pere Marquette Railroad, extended the line between Traverse City and Petosky through Spencer Creek. William Alden Smith, the railway’s general counsel, advocated the line through Spencer Creek, and in 1891 the town renamed Alden in his honor. Its location aided travel and shipping between Chicago and Petosky, supporting agriculture, lumbering and eventually tourism. The Pere Marquette built this depot in 1907 to replace one that burned in 1906. Northern Michigan newspapers called it the railroad’s finest depot north of Grand Rapids. In 1981 the last train left Alden. Helena Township acquired the depot in 1986.
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