Bay City is the central gateway to northern Michigan and was an important railroad center at an early date. In 1877 the manufacture of railroad equipment was a major industry. In that year the Bousfield & Co. factory was the largest woodenware factory in the world, and the Michigan Pipe Co. was the largest wooden pipe factory. As recently as 1969 some lengths of wooden water lines, made by this company, were uncovered and replaced in Detroit.
A historical plaque located in the East Michigan Tourist Association office in Bay City reads: “Although French explorers had visited this area in the 1600’s, a permanent white settlement occurred only in the 1830’s. During the Civil War period the lumber industry developed reaching its peak in 1882. When the lumbermen left, coal mining, fishing, shipbuilding, and the production of beet sugar provided the basis for Bay City’s economic growth”.
In 1877 there were eight villages and settlements in the county, in addition to Bay City.
BANKS‑ first called “BANGOR”, was a village of 1,500 population, on the west bank of the Saginaw River, 1 1/2 miles below Wenona, and 2 1/2 from Bay City. Joseph Marchand, Postmaster. (1877). Banks is listed as a postoffice in 1890. After that date it became a part of Bay City.
BAYSIDE‑ in 1910 R.F.D. Bay City. 1918 population 300, on Saginaw Bay, Bangor Township, 5 miles from Bay City. No railroad station, but the D. & M. and M. C. switches run in here. Three grocery stores and other business places.
BEAVER‑ shown on 1969 county map.
BEDELL‑‑ in 1918 5 miles from Bay City and 3 from Kawkawlin, whence mail is supplied Rural Delivery. Two stores.
In 1910 population 70. Mail to Auburn.
BENTLEY‑ was a postoffice in 1890. Peak population at any one time was about 500. Buildings, a tavern, and one or two other business places remain in the village (1969), and it has a postoffice.
1905 population 200, in Gibson Township, 11 miles west of Standish. It was on the Michigan Central Railway. Peter Edmuds, Postmaster. Had hotels, sawmill and shingle mills, hoop factory, cheese factory, etc.
In 1918 population 400. N. E. Leffler, Postmaster. Had a bank, gristmill and elevator, drug store and doctor, restaurant and bakery, general store, hardware, “Traveler’s Home”, boarding house, a garage, hotel and other buildings.
BROOKS‑ listed in 1910 as on the Grand Trunk Railroad. Mail to Bay City. In 1918 another “Brooks” is listed in Holmes Township, Menominee County.
COLDEN listed in 1897 as a postoffice. In 1918 on the M. C. R. R., Williams Township, 14 miles west of Bay City.
In 1905 C. B. Hubbell, Postmaster and general store.
COLFAX‑ in 1918 listed as a discontinued postoffice. In 1897 was a postoffice. There was also a “Colfax” listed in Wexford County and one in Benzie County.
CRUMP‑ reached its peak population of 300 in 1910. In 1905 population 50.
Garfield Township, 7 1/2 miles from Linwood on the M. C. R. R., L. N. Princing, Postmaster. Had a general store, sawmill, lumber company, saloons, hardware, etc.
In 1918 population l50. Jesse S. Rhodes, Postmaster. Also listed a bank, 2 hotels, hardware, sawmills and other places.
CUMMINS‑ was a postoffice May 1, 1897,and as late as 1902. In Fraser Township, 15 miles north of Bay City. After 1902 R.F.D. Linwood.
DUEL‑ listed as a postoffice in 1897. In 1905 a country postoffice in Beaver Township, 19 miles northwest of Bay City and 11 from Midland. Mrs. E. J. Tobias, Postmistress. Had a heading mill, blacksmith shops, general store, and a sawmill. In 1910 population 150. R.F.D. Auburn.
In 1918 no population. E. B. Owen, general store, and C. H. Stanley, heading mill. (made lids, or heads, for barrels).
FISHERVILLE‑ a station on the M.C.R.R. 13 miles west of Bay City. In 1910, send mail to Auburn.
FLAJOLE‑ a short distance east of Fisherville on the M.C.R.R..
GARFIELD‑ listed as a postoffice in September, 1900. In 1910 population 50. R.F.D. Pinconning. In 1918 located in Garfield Township, 22 miles north of Bay City, and 7 from Pinconning. 2 general stores. No population.
GLENCOE– in 1877 on the line of Gladwin County, 11 miles west of Pinconning. Settled in 1873. Population 150. “It is reached from Pinconning by the “Glencoe‑Pinconning & Lake Shore Railroad”, a line extending from Glencoe east to the lake shore, a distance of 14 miles. The railroad is owned and operated by George Campbell & Co. for transporting lumber from their mills.” Daily mail. George Campbell, Postmaster and owns the only business.
GLOVER‑ listed as a postoffice fry 1900. 1910 population 12. In 1918 a discontinued postoffice, R.F.D., Bentley. O. M. Clews, grocer. The Glover school was standing in 1953 a short distance south of M‑61 and north of Bentley.
HAMBLEN‑ a postoffice in December, 1890 and in 1902. In 1918, R.F.D. Auburn.
LAREDO‑ a postoffice in April, 1893. In 1905 on the M. C. R. R., 11 miles west of Bay City and 7 miles east car Midland. Henry Turner, Postmaster and General Store. Also a blacksmith shop and other buildings.
In 1910 population 23. R.F.D. Auburn.
LENGSVILLE‑ was a postoffice April, 1893. In 1905 population 300. On the Grand Trunk Railway, Fraser Township, 12 1/2 miles north of Bay City, on Saginaw Bay. F. Hebinger, Postmaster. Had several fish markets, a saloon, grocery stores, general store, and stature mill.
In 1910 population 70. On the Ail. & M. and M. C. R. R.; R.F.D. Linwood.
In 1918 population 200. D. F. Rockwell, Postmaster and general store. Had a cooperage and cedar post factory; stave and heading mill; and J. L. Trombley, fisherman.
LOEHNE‑ a settlement and postoffiice 14 miles northwest of Bay City and 8 from Kawkawlin. Was a postoffice in May, 1897. In 1905 R.F.D. Auburn.
In 1918 Edwin Loehne operated a general store, sawmill and feed mill.
MAXWELL‑ in 1877 in Fraser Township, 15 miles above Bay City. Settled in 1870. On the Mackinaw division of the M. C. Railroad and listed or the time cards of the road as “STATE ROAD CROSSING”.
In 1877 William Mitchie, Postmaster. Several shingle, saw and lumber mills were located there. Also a hotel called the “Royal Oak House”.
This town had three names. Maxwell; State Road Crossing; and a postal name of ”Michie”. In 1910 a discontinued postoffice, 4 miles from Pinconning, whence mail is supplied by rural delivery.
MICHIE‑ see Maxwell.
MONITOR‑ a postoffice in May, 1897. In 1910 population 100. In 1918 on the M. C. Railroad, 7 miles from Bay City. R.F.D. Auburn. Had two hotels, a general store and other buildings.
MOUNT FOREST‑ was a postoffice in December, 1890. In 1905 population 50, on the M. C. Railroad, 18 miles northwest of Bay City and 12 from Standish. Irene Bouers, Postmistress. Three general stores and a saw and shingle mill.
1910 population 60.
In 1918 population 50. Eight miles northwest of Pinconning. Had a hotel, 2 hardware stores, blacksmith shop, 2 grocery stores, and an elevator.
The town is designated on 1969 highway maps
NINE MILE‑ was a flag stop on the Gladwin Division of the M. C. R. R. (removed about 1965). No record as a postoffice. In 1953 the “Nine Mile” country school building remained on the site.
NORTH WILLIAMS‑ was a postoffice located about 2 miles north of Auburn in 1893, but lasted only a few years. In 1910, R.F.D. Auburn.
PORTSMOUTH‑ in 1877 described as “Now an integral part of Bay City, but lately a separate village. It still maintains a separate postoffice”. Was listed as a postoffice in 1890.
SALZBURG‑ in 1877 “A lumber and salt manufacturing village on the left bank of the Saginaw River opposite Portsmouth. In Bangor Township, on the M.C.R.R. a mile southwest of Bay City. Has between 500 and 600 inhabitants, 5 or 6 large sawmills, a flouring mill, 3 salt companies, and two breweries. Settled in 1854. George Staudacher, Postmaster. Later incorporated with Bay City.
SKINNER‑ in 1877 described as a village of 250, in Williams Township, 9 miles west of Bay City. Has 2 sawmills and a Methodist Church. Ships lumber, hoops, square timber, and produce. Ira Swart, Postmaster. Also had hotels, a doctor, general store, etc.
It is likely the name was changed to “Fisher” a few years later. It is doubtful that a Village of 250 population disappeared within a year or two after its founding, and the location coincides with that of “Fisher” on the M. C. Railway.
STATE ROAD‑ see Maxwell or Michie. Also known as “State Road Crossing”.
TOBICO‑ on the D. & M. Railroad in 1910, north of Bay City. Mail to Bay City.
TEBO‑ in 1918 a discontinued postoffice. R.F.D. Pinconning.
WENONA‑ was platted as “Lake City” but the Postoffice Department requested a name change and accepted Wenona. In 1877 an incorporated village of 2,600 on the left bank of the Saginaw River, opposite Bay City, with which it is connected by a bridge. The Saginaw division of the M.C.R.R. passes through it. It is also the eastern terminus of the Bay City‑Midland and Grand Rapids Railroad, now in course of construction.
It has the largest sawmill in the state. (H. W. Sage & Co., made up of Henry W. Sage, William Sage, and a Mr. Dean).
Platted in 1864 and incorporated in 1865. Henry H. Alpin, Postmaster.
In 1877 Wenona became a part of West Bay City, along with Banks and Salzburg.
In 1903 West Bay City was in turn consolidated with Bay City. At that time the population of the three combined villages was 12,197.
WHITE FEATHER‑ in 1877 a postoffice and station on the‑Mackinaw Division of the M.C.R.R., in Pinconning Township, 23 miles north of Bay City. Settled in 1872. Average population 100. W. G. Clark, Postmaster; J. M. Root, Deputy Postmaster. The only interests are the White Feather Lumber Co.
Other places were AMELITH, a postoffice in 1900 and population 60 in 1910, R.F.D. Bay City.
ARN 10 miles east of Bay City on the M. C. Railway. In 1910 R.F.D.