Heritage \ Writings \ Industry: Lumbering

Hopkins, Pomeroy & Fraser Mill (Established 1846)
Location: Foot of Ninth St., Bay City, MI.

1852 - Hugh Dunlap (Chicago)
1854 - Burns & Wheeler
1859 - Grant & Fay
1860 - Gates & Fay
1882 - S.G.M. Gates

History as 1869. - Added Nov., 2010.

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


Mill foot of Ninth Street.

In 1845-6 Messrs. Hopkins, Pomeroy & Fraser erected a mill on the site now occupied by Gates & Fay's; it was the first mill put up in what was then called Lower Saginaw, and its capacity was 15,000. It had two uprights. In the Spring of 1850, the addition of a circular saw of four feet in diameter increased its capacity to 20,000. For abut a year and a half after that, its fortunes varied little from those of its few contemporaries about here. Subsequently it had some rough experiences and saw many changes. In the Fall of 1851, it was blown up, killing the fireman and landing one of its boilers on Water street. This was sent to Detroit to be repaired, friend O. Johnson not being here then, and in the Spring of 1852, the mill had been repaired and was running smoothly. Shortly after in the same year, Hugh Dunlop, of Chicago, purchased it, run it for two years and the sold out to Burns & Wheeler. In those days mills must have run through fortunes as well as logs, for we find that in 1859 it again changed hands, becoming the property of Grant & Fay, who enlarged its capacity by putting in a larger circular. Next year Mr. Grant retired from the scene, and Mr. Gates took his place, and seems to have like it, for the firm of Gates & Gay flourishes to this day. Not so for the poor old mill, for it took fire and was consumed with a lot of lumber on the 12th day of July, 1863,

The new mill was built during the winters of 1863-4, and in the Spring of the latter year was running with a circular of 5 1-2 feet diameter and one upright, giving a capacity of 5,000,000 annually, employing 19 men.

S.G.M Gates bio., 1883. - Added July, 2011.

History of Bay County, Michigan - 1883.


S.G.M. Gates owns the mill, formerly owned by the firm of Gates & Fay. The first saw mill built in what was then Lower Saginaw, was erected on this site, by Hopkins, Pomeroy & Fraser, in 1846-47, with two uprights. In the Fall of 1851 it was blown up, killing the fireman and wrecking things generally. It was put in running order and sold to Hugh Dunlap, of Chicago, and still later to Burns & Wheeler. In 1859 it became the property of Grant & Fay, and in 1863 was destroyed by fire. Mr. Gates then purchase Mr. Grant's remaining interest -- and the firm of Gates & Fay erected a new mill and operated it until the Spring of 1882, when Mr. Fay retired and Mr. Gates continues the business, employing about sixty men and cutting annually about 15,000,000 feet of lumber.

Additional Notes.

    1882 - History of Bay County, Michigan 1883.

  • Mr. Fay retired in the Spring of 1882, and Mr. Gates continued operations under the name of S. G. M. GATES mill, employing about sixty men and cutting annually about 15,000,000 feet of lumber.

    1905 - The Hardwood Record Chicago, October 25, 1905.

  • S. G. M. Gates is cutting about 7,000,000 feet of lumber at his Bay City mill. He has just receive verdict of $,900 against the Detroit & Mackinaw Railway Company, the suit growing out of complications in a log hauling contract.
Related Notes & Pages

{Lumbering Pictorial}

Related Pages:
Fraser, James
Fay, William L.
People Referenced
Burns, Mr.
Dunlap, Hugh
Fay, William L.
Fraser, James
Gates, S.G.M.
Grant, Mr.
Hopkins, Dunlap
Johnson, O.
Wheeler, Mr.
Subjects Referenced
Bay City, MI
Chicago, IL
Detroit, MI
Gates & Fay Mill
Grant & Fay Mill
Hopkins, Pomeroy & Fraser Mill
Hugh Dunlap Mill
Lower Saginaw, MI
Saw mill
S.G.M. Gates Mill
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.