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Bay County Chapter of Saginaw Valley Pioneer Society.
Organized in 1874.

1874: Newspaper article. (Added Mar., 2009)

Bay City Chronicle - January 10, 1874


Organization of the Bay County Branch of the Saginaw Valley Pioneer Society.

Pursuant to call, a meeting of the Pioneer settlers of this vicinity was held at the Fraser House parlors Thursday morning, to organize the Bay County Branch of the Saginaw Valley Pioneer Society. Among those present were Hon. Albert Miller, Israel Catlin, John Drake, W. R. McCormick, Curtis Munger, Dr. Geo. Smith, Peter Rogers, A. McCoy, H. C. Moore, Chas. Cottrell, B. B. Hart, E. Stanton, Jacob Little, J. S. Barclay,.........

......... The following interesting sketch, prepared by W. R. McCormick, giving a history of Bay City and Portsmouth from 1834 to 1842, was then read:

In 1834 the following were the inhabitants of the two places: Joseph and Medor Tromble built a log house near where the Centre House now stands. Leon Tromble had a small house on the bank of the river, about in the middle of Water street, opposite Baily and Ortonís hardware store. He was sent here as Indian farmer by the Government. He died many years ago. Joseph and Medor Tromble bought 250 acres of land near where the Centre House now stands for $1.25 per acre, and commenced trading with the Indians. A Frenchman by the name of Masho built a small house near where the pail factory now stands in Portsmouth. He had a squaw for a wife and a family of children.

The next settler was John Trudell. He built a log house just above the residence of ex-mayor Watson, on the bank of the river. He kept an Indian trading house, The American Fur Company supplying him goods. The next was a log house built on the site where the late Jas. J. McCormick residence now stands, by Benjamin Tromble. He afterwards sold out to Capt. Joseph Marsac, who removed here in 1837. The next house built was a log house about where ís upper salt works now stand. This was built by Judge Miller, Town and others called the Portsmouth Company, and they commenced building a mill. Joseph and Medor commenced to build the Centre House about this time. Most of the lumber for this building came from Detroit and was sawed by a whip saw, consequently this was the first frame house erected below Saginaw City. Mr. Case, the carpenter, worked on it nearly two years, and it was known on the river for many years as the Big House.

The next was a small house on the corner of Water street and Fremont avenue, for many years the residence of Judge Miller, but this has long since disappeared. The next was the warehouse at the foot of Center street, Bay City, built by the Lower Saginaw Company. They also built a small building on the corner of Fifth and Water streets where the Rouech block now stands, for a bank. This was in wild cat times. They had their bills struck off but hard times came on and it fell through.

About this time, perhaps a little before, Judge Campbell removed here from Bridgeport on the Cass River, and moved into a house partly built by Cromwell Barney, and which is now a part of the Globe Hotel, where he lived for many years.

James Fraser came to the valley in 1834, and settled as a farmer on the Tittabawassee. Some years afterward, he removed to Bay City, and through his perserverance and industry we owe in a great measure our prosperity.

The next settlers who come here in the year 1837 were Capt. Marsac, who bought out Banj. Trombly, as before stated; and Thomas Rogers, who came as a blacksmith for the Portsmouth Company, and whose wife still lives in Bay City. For many years she was the only doctor and nurse we had, and she will always be held in kind remembrance by the old settlers. The late Capt. Wilson also came about this time .....

....... Amongst some of the old settlers still living and who took a prominent part and endured the hardships in building our beautiful city are the following and we trust they are all here today:

and many others

Related Notes & Pages

Lower Saginaw

1849 Plat Map
People Referenced
Barclay, Jonathan S.
Barney, Cromwell
Campbell, Sidney Judge
Case, Mr.
Catlin, Israel
Cottrell, Charles
Daily, Michael
Drake, John
Fay, W.L.
Fitzhugh, C.C.
Fraser, James
Hart, B.B.
Kenney, Orrin
Little, Jacob
Marsac, Joseph
Masho, Mr.
McCormick, James J.
McCormick, William R.
McCoy, A.
Miller, Albert
Moore, H.C.
Munger, Curtis
Rogers, Peter
Rogers, Thomas
Sharp, John
Smith, Fr.
Smith, George Dr.
Stanton, E.
Tromble, Benjamin
Tromble, Joseph
Tromble, Leon
Tromble, Medor
Trudell, John
Watson, Mr.
Wilson, Capt.
Subjects Referenced
American Fur Co.
Baily & Orton's hardware
Bay City, MI
Bay Co., MI
Bay Co. Pioneer Soc.
Bridgeport, MI
Centre House
- aka. Big House
Fraser House
Globe Hotel
Lower Saginaw Co.
- aka. Saginaw Bay Co.
Portsmouth, MI
Portsmouth Co.
Rouech block
Saginaw VAlley Pioneer Soc.
Tittabawasee river
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.