Heritage \ Writings \ Industry: Lumbering

Drake Bros. Mill (Established 1851-52)
West off river's edge to near Henry Street.


  • 1853 – Kibbee, Whittermore & Co.
  • 1858 – N. P. Stewart
  • 1862 – Elisha P. Litchfield
  • 1880 – John Welch Co.

    History as 1869. - Added April, 2011.

    Directory of Bay City, Portsmouth, Wenona and Bangor, for 1868-9.


    The “Drake Mill” was built in 1851-52 by Drake Bros., -- three brothers from Canada. It was sold to the firm of Kibbee, Whittemore & Co., in the fall of 1853, who, at the same time, bought the “Banger Mill,” and held large tracts of pine land, but were not very successful. It passed into the hands of N. P. Steward, in 1858, who, having become involved, it passed out of his hands in 1862, and is now ostensibly held by Elisha P. Litchfield. The mill was thoroughly rebuilt and enlarged in 1863, and is capable of cutting about 5,000,000 during the season. It is one of the most convenient and beautiful sites on the river, having eighty three rods water front. The boom is completely land-locked and will contain four million feet of logs, and the land adjoining the village of Wenona, consisting of 44 acres, is now very valuable.

    History of Bay County, Michigan – 1883.


    This is the mill known for many years as the “Drake Mill.” It was built in the Winter of 1851-52, by Drake Bros., and in 1853 sold to Kibbee, Whittemore & Co. After that it had various owners and was finally purchased by Mr. Welch in 1880. In 1881 the mill burned, and was rebuilt the following Winter. It employs about forty men, and cut last year 12,000,00 feet of lumber.

    Improvement made by Welch to the property in 1882, were: added frame mill and machinery, $45,000; docks and piling grounds, $4,000; yard and improvements, $1,000; total $50,000.

    Additional Notes.

    • The Drake brothers mentioned were John, Samuel, and third one is unknown. The mill property included a grave site, which later evolved to become the present Oak Ridge Cemetery.
    • The Drake mill's property later became a part of the village of Bangor, then West Bay City, which was created by a merger of the villages of Bangor, Wenona and Salzburg.
    • John Welch, was a former mayor of Saginaw, and a State senator.

  • Related Notes & Pages

    {Lumbering Pictorial}

    Related Pages:
    Drake, John
    Drake, Samuel
    Welch, John
    People Referenced
    Drake, John
    Drake, Samuel
    Litchfield, Elsha P.
    Steward, N.P.
    Welch, John
    Subjects Referenced
    Banger Mill
    Bay City, MI
    Bay County, MI
    Drake Bros mill
    Kibbee & Whittemore
    Oak Ridge Cemetery
    Saginaw, MI
    Salzburg, MI
    Wenona, MI
    West Bay City, MI
    WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.