History of Bay City Street Name Changes.
A best effort to identify streets names that have been changed.
Above is a hand drawn 1867 Bird's Eye View map looking east. On the west bank of the river is the village of Wenona which shared connected to Bay City over the Third Street Bridge. South of Wenona was the village of Salzburg and to its east (not shown) was the village of Banks. The village of Portsmouths bordered Bay City on the south. All of these communities eventually merged to form present Bay City.
These mergers all required renaming of streets in order to elminate confusion. However, some confusion with streets still lingers on today because of their non-alignment caused by the historical borders between the villages, which include the Saginaw River with bridges that are connected by two different street names.
This can make getting around the city a little confusing for a stranger. A visitor to this city for the first time if approaching the Layette Bridge from the east off Lafayatte street might wonder on departing the bridge how they suddently were on Salzburg. If they came from the opposite direction taking Salzburg over the bridge, the would depart on Lafayette, but if they continued going east and passed the intersection of Madison and Michigan avenues they might wonder how they got onto 22nd street? This one example of many cases where logical deduction can make it difficult in finding your way around Bay City.
Village of Portsmouth merged with Village of Bay City in 1873.
Villages of Banks, Salzburg & Wenona merged to form West Bay City in 1877.
West Bay City merged with Bay City in 1905.
Original street naming history:
Bay City: Original plans for naming streets called for north-south streets to be named after presidents or famous persons while east-west were to be assigned numbers. However, after a period of growth this pattern wasn't strickly followed.
According to historical accounts the original street names for Wenona were given by Henry Sage and John McGraw, partners of the huge Sage & McGraw lumber mill at the foot of Midland street. The agreement was that Sage would name the north-south streets and McGraw the east-west streets. Both used the names of relatives for their set of streets.
Street Renaming Database:
The data below has been compiled from a number of different sources and is shown in a spreadsheet like table which can be sorted by clicking on the header of a column. There is also a drop down menu that can be used to cull out data for a specific community.