Old car show outside on a nice summer day

Tin Lizzie Days

Children extracting maple syrup from a tree

Maple Syruping

small house with a chimney in the winter


A large, empty Conference Room

Conference Room

A simple dorm room

Dorm Room

Faculty member helping student on the computer


A small house in the winter

Birch Cabin



Sauna Building

Sauna Building

Ford Center

Welcome to the Ford Center

The Ford Center is located in the heart of the extensive hardwood and jack pine plain forests of  the beautiful western Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In 1954 the Ford Motor Company donated 1700 acres, which included the historic village of Alberta, to Michigan Tech. Today the Center occupies 5,500 acres and consists of a conference center, research forest and the historic village of Alberta and sawmill museum.

The Center is located just 42 miles south of Houghton, the main campus of Michigan Tech. The Center is conveniently located just 10 miles from the shores of Lake Superior. Situated in the middle of a vast and diverse forest, the Ford Center is an ideal year-round location for research, education, technical training, business workshops, meetings or reunions.

The Ford Center is also home to the School’s Research Forest.

Conference Center

The conference facilities can lodge up to 110 participants in a variety of settings. A modern dormitory and related lodging provide year-round housing capability for both small and large groups. A dining hall, four classrooms, a large conference and meeting room, and office buildings provide support services. Complete food service is available. Conference Center.

Ford Historic Sawmill

Built by Henry Ford in the midst of his northern forest holdings, this unique village and its sawmill has become one of his "Village Industries," which were common in Lower Michigan. Alberta provides an interesting example of sawmill technology, a planned community in a beautiful forest setting, and the power of one man's vision to create a suitable environment for his employees. Open to the public.


The Ford Center and Ford Research Forest provide educational opportunities for all ages and are extensively used by the undergraduate and graduate degree programs at Michigan Tech's School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science.

Integrated Field Practicum (Field Camp) 
This semester-long undergraduate opportunity is an immersion experience for foresters, applied ecologists and wildlife ecologists. While housed at the Ford Center, these juniors spend the majority of their time in the surrounding forests and wetlands.

Professional Education 
The Center specializes in facilitating classes, seminars, camps, and training sessions that are offered by fellow educational organizations. Programs are offered for both professional educators and natural resource professionals.

Current Programs:
Teacher Professional Development
Hardwood Bucker Training 
Wildland Firefighting Training 

Research Forest
The Ford Center is home to the School’s Research Forest. Research on sustainable forestry, silviculture and ecological processes has been conducted on the property since 1954. Several on-going, long term studies are being conducted on the Ford Center’s lands. New research projects are continually being initiated. Funding is being actively pursued by School faculty and staff, and students. Research Forest.