Alto  DDA
Alto, Michigan
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About Us

     The land in and around Alto was surveyed out in farms around 1842 by a government surveyor named Mr. McVean.  David Skidmore and his wife purchased his farm from Bradford Canfield and his wife in 1856.  At the time of purchase the farm’s property included 170 acres.  Purchases of various tracts through the years swelled his holdings to 409 acres.

      In 1887 Mr. Skidmore granted the right-of-way for the railroad.  It wasn’t until 1888 that the village was founded after the old “Detroit, Lansing & Northern” railroad brought its tracks to the area deciding Alto would make a desirable location for a depot.

     In 1890 the property purchased from the Skidmore tracts was platted and a village was born.  David Skidmore’s sister, Mrs. Lucy (Daniel C.) McVean was the village’s first postmistress.  It was Lucy who is credited with naming the village.  She selected the name Alto, meaning altitude, because the village site was the highest point in the region.

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