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Directory of Bay City Hotels 1868-9
Source - Polk Directory.


FRASER HOUSE - Corner of Center and South Water Streets

This large, handsome and commodious structure, stands as a monument to the memory of him whose name it bears, as one of the best evidences of his enterprising and liberal nature, which he planned but did not live to see completed. It was built during the years 1865-6, to meet the wants of the traveling community, which kept pace with the growth and prosperity of the city, and cost $90,000. It is brick building of four stories, and a basement, fronting on Water street 128 feet, and on Center street 100, containing 75 rooms – exclusive of dining room – kitchen quarters and offices. The main entrance is on Center street, as are also those to the reading and counting rooms. On the first floor on Water street, are five first class stores, and the entrance to the Public Hall, which is a large conveniently built room, 95x45, with 21 1-2 feet ceiling, a stage, shifting scenery, and a beautiful drop curtain. The parlors, sitting room and kitchen departments, all conveniently situated. The cost of furnishing this house amounted to $28,000, and there are few in the State better appointed or more comfortable. It is in all respects a first class hotel, and fully deserves the title of a “travelers' home.” C. A. Linsley & Co., had the honor of opening it and of giving it its present reputation, and after 15 months possession, have allowed it to pass into the hands of Geo. W. Wesley, East Saginaw, who, for a term of years “ran” the Bancroft Hotel and at one time the Everett, winning golden opinions from all who came under his roof. We close this notice with a reprint from a Saginaw daily, and fully endorse the report,

"The Fraser House, Bay City, one of the finest, and most conveniently arranged hotels in the Saginaw Valley, in just entering a career under a new management. Geo. W. Wesley having assumed the management, the prospects of the institution under the new regime are more favorable than those which surrounded the most auspicious opening of the house about one year ago. Within the past few months, Bay City has become the objective point for a vast amount of travel. There is no evading the fact that the progressive strides taken by Bay City during the past year have done a long way toward establishing her on a metropolitan basis. As in East Saginaw, real estate has reached fancy prices, and buildings enterprise has become the rage. The solid brick blocks that are going up indicate an influx of capital. Those attracted to that point as to this, are principally speculators and capitalists. The Fraser House monopolizes all this transient custom, and accommodates the travelers from or to the Bay shore. When the Fraser House was first opened, it was indisputably the best finished hotel throughout in the Saginaw valley, and better hotels cannot be found in the State. Under the adminstration of the Messrs. Lindsley, the tables were excellently furnished, and in this respect won for itself a reputation that is now being well sustained by the veteran host, Geo. W. Wesley. The rooms are conveniently arranged, and are uniformly furnished throughout the building. In the fourth story, as in the lower rooms, one naturally feels comfortable and contented, from the cozy surroundings and the homelike appearance of the apartments. Some changes have been made in the attaches. We see a number of familiar faces from East Saginaw, and this is a great attraction for Saginawans. We congratulate Mr. Wesley on the success that has attended him in his first efforts. Years ago he presided over the destiny of the Everett House, later as proprietor of the Bancroft he achieved considerable reputation as a model landlord, and now in assuming charge of the Fraser, with all the characteristics that are calculated to give a hotel popularity, the success of that institution is beyond peradventure."

FOREST CITY HOUSE - N.W. Corner of Sixth & Washington

Though not quite equal to the Fraser House, is not from it – about a gun shot. The host, Chris. Heinzmann, is just as glad to see travelers as Mr. Wesley is, only he does not charge so much for the privilege, and what you get is “very filling at the prices,” and a clean bed, before you get into it.

IRVING HOUSE - South Water near Seventh Street

This is a nice quiet hotel, on South Water street above Seventh commanding a full view of the river with its shipping.

It was built by the proprietor, P. H. Wood, in 1865, and is a very commodious building, comprising 25 bedrooms a good dining room parlors, extensive kitchen, offices and a bar. Mine host is a model landlord, in manner and matter; he keeps a good table, and cleanliness pervades every department, making the Irving House a very desirable home for either boarders or travelers -- man or beast, as he keeps a good stable too.

GLOBE HOTEL - N.W. Corner of Water & Fifth Streets.

This respectable old pile, situate at the corner of Fifth and Water street, calls for more than a passing notice at the hands of the publisher of the first Bay City Directory, as it must continue to be an object of interest, as long as it stands, having been the first frame building erected in this place.

The lots on which the building stood in its original shape, were donated to S. S. Campbell, the present Probate Judge, as an inducement for him to stop here. (Now-a-days, a man has to pay something handsome for the privilege of stopping there.) it was built in 1838, and was then but a two-story house 40x24 feet. The first township meeting for the town of Hampton, County of Saginaw, was held in it in 1843, on which occasion Mr. Campbell was elected Supervisor. This “old inhabitant” lived in this “lodge in a vast wilderness” for two years, after which it had several masters in succession during the following eight years, ending Oct. 5th, 1848, on which date, Mr. Campbell returned to the “old house,” where he remained for 14 years. (It would ruin him to stop there so long now.)

In May, 1862 the present proprietor, M. A. Rouech, leased it from Mr. Campbell, and by enlarging the premises, converted it into a large, good-paying, comfortable hotel.

The old settlers, and those who were “to the manner born” remember “Campbells” with old associations clustering thick around the old house, for every new face that put in an appearance in the new settlement was but a pre-face to a new addition of Campbells. Every white man, and a great many red, made the old house their headquarters, and if the old scale of prices for board, which were proper then, were common now, Bay City would have the “rush” badly, for 12 shillings a week was all the charge for fish, flesh and fowl, in those primitive times which were, strange to say, considered “hard times.”

The present dimensions of the Globe Hotel building, are 40x60, three and a half stories high, containing 44 bedrooms, a dining room 60x24, billiard room, barber's shop, bar room and kitchen extension, and in the rear of the hotel, a good bard and stables. The enterprising, affable and attentive host is now “an old citizen,” the father of countless Roueches, yet full of life, activity and schemes which are developing themselves in the shape of bricks – children and all. May his substance increase and its shadow never be less.

Historical Reference:

The population of the city at this time was just under 7,000 people, compared to only 700 in 1860. The Campbell House was then the only hotel accommodations available.

The earliest travelers to this area availed themselves of boarding houses, the first one being the Trombley House built in 1837-8, which is still standing in Veterans Memorial Park, on the city's west side.

Trombley House (photo 1898)

The lumbering boom brought an army of transient workers to the city creating a huge demand for boarding houses, and they remained a popular choice well into the 20th Century, long after the hey-days of the lumbering industry.

Notes & Related Pages
Directory Advertisements
Theophilus C. Grier & Archibald McDonell, Attorneys and Counselors, Union Block, foot of Centre Street.
Merchant's Despatch, Fast Freight Line. Agent: W.H. DeLisle
P.S. Morrison, Clothes Cleaner & Repairer, West side of Adams St., between Fifth and Center.
E.H. Gates, M.D., Office Griswold Block, N. Water St. Residence on Madison St., between Fourth & Fifth.
Henry Schindehette, Restaurant & Lager Beer Saloon, Fifth Street, near the Globe Hotel.
The best Meat Market in the ciyt is on Fourth St., between Water & Washington.
Joseph Wood, Real Estate Agent, office in Cambell Block.
J.W. McMath, Attorney, office in old Court House building foot of 4th St.
R.C. Marlatte, M.D., Physicians and Surgeons, office in Birney Block.
Ralph W. Cummings, M.D., Residence, Methodist Parsonage, Washington St., Office, room No. 3 Birney Block.
Mrs. S.A. Chandler,
Clothes Cleaning, Coloring and Reparing Estsblishment, 309 South Saginaw Street.
Dr. Wm. McPherson, Office in Shearer Block. Residence on Center Street, near Jefferson.
Miss Corbin's Boarding House, Adams Steet
S.C. Smith, Dentist (Successor to C.A. Maxon,) Griswold Block
C.S. Davidson, Distern and Tank Maker, Cor. of Eleventh St.
H.M. Hemstreet, Harness Maker, 214 Center St.
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