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Alto, Michigan is an unincorporated village in northern Bowne Township, in southeastern Kent County, although a small portion of what is commonly considered Alto bleeds over into Lowell Township to the north.

Bowne Center, another unincorporated community within the township, is a few miles south-southeast of Alto. Lowell is 7.0 miles north, Clarksville is 8.1 miles east, Freeport is 10.0 miles south, Caledonia is 11.3 miles southwest, and the City of Grand Rapids is just over twenty miles northwest of Alto.

David N. Skidmore is credited with founding the village in 1845. On September 5, 1851, a post office was established, with Daniel C. McVean as its first postmaster, around the same time that the Detroit, Grand Rapids & Western Railroad built a station there. The village was named by Lucy Skidmore McVean, daughter of the founder and the postmaster's wife, who chose Alto for being the highest point of land along the railroad between Grand Rapids and Detroit, alto being a musical term meaning "high" in Italian.

The village includes several historic buildings, including the Bowne Township Hall, which is still in use.

The focus of this category is on the village of Alto, Michigan. Websites representing businesses, churches, schools, organizations, and individuals in Alto are appropriate for this category. However, as the Alto post office serves most of Bowne Township and parts of Caledonia, Campbell, Cascade, and Lowell townships, entities with Also addresses may be listed here as well, since it may be difficult to make the differentiation, particularly given that Alto doesn't have defined boundaries.

 

 

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