HERITAGE Library
Our heritage is the most meaningful gift we pass onto the next generation.


View east down Center Ave. in Bay City. Mouse over image to view past!

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Message About Our Heritage

With the passing of each generation memories are being lost unless they are shared and recorded. These memories of what life was like during an earlier period may seem insignificant now, but when they are gone -- so is a part of our heritage. It's nice to see photos, and it's interesting to read what historians write about the past, but the flesh of the past is the experience of those who lived it. Only individuals that have experienced it can capture what it was like and meant to them and their life.

For example, {Wenona Beach} disappeared long ago

and it touched the lives of many seniors who remember the joyous days of this park. Today a trailer park now occupies this property, but as one who experienced Wenona Beach -- whenever I drive by that property it still stirs up fond memories I have of Wenona Beach." For many generations this was the place many in this community spent countless hours having fun, enjoying family picnics, taking in live entertainment, swimming and so much more. It's a treasured memory that one day will vanish with the passing of those who had the joy of having this experience.

Wenona Beach is just one example, there are countless more memories that are worth passing onto future generations.

I still get the smell of fresh donuts being made whenever I walk by the old Kresge store. My mother and I traveled that path many times while she hauled me with her to do some shopping downtown. And, what about that canister system they had at the Knepps Department Store? The cashier took your money along with a sales slip and stuffed it into the canister then sent it clanking on its way over a rail system to the upstairs office. Then there was Saturday mornings when I headed over to the old YMCA building on the north-east corner of Seventh and Washington. Afterwards, it was over to the Roxy Theater, kitty-corner to the YMCA, for a full afternoon of watching Roy Rogers, Flash Gordon, Abbott and Costello, etc. They even had an amateurs night on Fridays where locals could take the stage and show off their talent.

I never had the experience of riding the streetcars that preceded the bus system in Bay City, but thanks to Robert Trudell who did have this experience and wrote it down, {Recalling Old Street Cars}, I at least have a better idea of what it may have been like to have done so.

While buildings and places from our community's past are interests objects, they only represent a more interesting history that of "people" who built them and helped improve our community. Their histories are far more interesting than the objects they left behind. This is true even today, as history is dynamic and is being created everyday.


James G. Birney
(1792-1857)

One pioneer of our community that has an outstanding history of unique national importance is {James G. Birney}. At the time when he settled here in 1842, he was a the most prominent leader in the national abolitionist movement, who, himself in early life had been a slave owner. He was twice chosen by the anti-slavery party to be its candidate for President of the United States, and twice for Governmor of Michigan. His life story is one that any community can, and should, point to publically with great pride.

I could go on, but the point is that someday I won't be able to share my memories and nor will you. Therefore, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on what your memories mean to you. If you believe they have value beyond your years, then, write them down so that your descendants will be able to share these memories and know what life was like during your time here.

I hope you will consider sharing them on Bay-Journal so the current generation may become aware of what life was like before they came into being.

Whether or not you make a contribution to Bay-Journal's content, don't let your gift slip away and be lost forever. Pass it onto your family -- they will appreciate it as they make their own journey into history.

Marvin A. Kusmierz

About Heritage Library
The Heritage Library
contains documents on specfic historical subjects. It is the fastest growing section on Bay-Journal as new documents are added on a regular basis.

Document Storage:
Each of the major sections is further organized into sub-categories to make it easier to find classes of documents. As the volume grows, new sections will be added.

Writings Section:
The Writing section is different from the others. It contains documents that are reprinted from various time periods so viewers may read history as it was being written long ago. Therefore, it may include subjects found in other major sections. Wherever possible, a Writings document includes a cross-link to the same or related subject found in another section. Writings may be a biography, newspaper article, letter, or any other form of reprinted document.

Specific Documents:
As the volume of a category increases, sub-categories are added to organized them even further. In addition, each document includes a reference listing of names and subjects mentioned in the document, and links to related pages or internet resources.
About History
History is the bench mark
of our existence! Without it, we can not measure how much progress has been made. It is also the glue that connects humanity. It gives us the means to better understand who we are and how we arrived to this point in time.

The internet has become a
powerful informational tool for individual exploration. We no longer have to be passive viewers of information, with the internet we have the choice to determine when, where and what information we want to have. It is bound to change the perspective of many about the world and the issues of humanity.

Genealogy and history are
subjects which have become very popular in recent years because of the internet. The two go hand and hand. Once people get hooked on doing their family's genealogy, many eventually want to put flesh to the names of their ancestors, and learning the history of their times is a way of being able to do that.

Local history, which is
relevant to our personal heritage, and it's as important as national or world history. It's this history about people, buildings, places, streets, etc., that can enrich the environment we live in today. Birney Park, Davidson building, Pine Ridge cemetery and countless take on a new meaning when we know the story about their existence and the ancestors who passed them onto us.
View U.S. timeline and historical documents.