Alto was founded in 1845 and named after the highest point on the railroad that connects Grand Rapids with Detroit. It is located in the southeast corner of Kent County. Alto also has many historic buildings, including the township hall, which is still in use today. The Alto Harvest Festival, which began in 1970, is still held each year. Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park allows you to get up close and personal with exotic animals. Saskatoon Golf Club offers challenging holes and a beautiful round of golf.
Boulder Ridge is proud of the rare and endangered animals found in its park. Some of our animals are not easily found anywhere else in the United States. You can even interact with a giraffe! This is a great place for children younger than 5 years old to experience a traditional zoo. Amazing little zoo
The Dream: Fredrick Oesch was born in Switzerland, August 8, 1888. He was only 6 years old when he was left orphaned and forced into living with his relatives. He was unhappy with his circumstances and began to dream about living in America, where there was hope for better lives. He hoped to one day move to America and buy his own land. Fredrick was just 16 years old when he traveled long distances to America in 1904.His dreams came true when he purchased 91 acres of land in Alto, Michigan. This was the beginning of a small farming community.
The Family: Fred married Lucy Wingeier, a Swiss girl, in 1918. Fredrick and Lucy had six children together. Their only son Joe chose to stay behind and help Fredrick manage the farm. They had 24 cows when Joe was old enough for the farm’s responsibilities. Joe married Melva Crosby, a local girl in 1950. Joe and Melva had seven children together on their farm. Fredrick and Joe continued farming together until Fredrick died in 1968. Melva and Joe’s oldest son Fred was ready to assume more of the farm’s management responsibilities.After graduating high school, he dedicated his entire life to farming. Joe and Melva’s two sons, Jeff and Tom, also committed to continuing to work on their farm after high school.