Alma is the largest city in Gratiot County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 9,383 at the 2010 census. It was incorporated as the Village of Alma in 1872 and became a city in 1905.
Alma hosts the annual Highland Festival on Memorial Day weekend. It brings members of Scottish clans and interested onlookers together for a weekend of Highland dancing, bagpipes, kilts, and camaraderie.
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 modernist architect Ralph Rapson and writer/composer/lyricist Dan Goggin (Nunsense).
Alma was the home of Leonard Refineries which sold gasoline and other petroleum products throughout the lower peninsula of Michigan from its founding in 1936 until about 1966.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.09 square miles (15.77 km2), of which 5.93 square miles (15.36 km2) is land and 0.16 square miles (0.41 km2) 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 W. 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. In 1953 Alma became the first place that high-octane gas, 96 octane, was produced.
As of the census of 2010, there were 9,383 people, 3,468 households, and 2,033 families living in the city.