Alma, Michigan

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Alma is the largest city in Gratiot County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 9,275 at the 2000 census. It was incorporated as the Village of Alma in 1872 and became a city in 1905.

Alma's claims to fame include the annual Highland Festival which brings members of Scottish clans and interested onlookers together for a weekend of Highland dancing, bagpipes, kilts, and camaraderie. The Highland Festival is held each year over Memorial Day weekend. Alma College, a small liberal-arts institution of approximately 1,300 students, is located in town and focuses on multidisciplinary learning in a residential setting.

Alma is the birthplace of both the world-renowned modernist architect Ralph Rapson and writer/composer/lyricist Dan Goggin (Nunsense).



According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.5 square miles (14.2 km2), of which 5.4 square miles (14.0 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km2) (1.83%) is water.


Alma was founded in 1853 by Ralph Ely. Perhaps first known for the Alma Springs Sanitarium, built and promoted in the 1880s by millionaire lumberman and capitalist Ammi Willard Wright, it achieved its greatest prominence nationally in the 1910s and 1920s as home of the Republic Motor Truck Company, briefly the largest exclusive truck manufacturer in the world.[3]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 9,275 people, 3,220 households, and 2,022 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,729.7 per square mile (668.1/km²). There were 3,476 housing units at an average density of 648.2/sq mi (250.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.75% White, 0.53% African American, 0.52% Native American, 0.75% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 2.57% from other races, and 1.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.21% of the population.

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