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Michigan Central Railroad Depot (1889)
First Street east of Madison Avenue, Bay City.
  • Contributed by Alan Flood. (March 2004)
  • Four brief articles on new depot being built in Bay City:

    1. April 23, 1889 - About to be Built.
    2. April 23, 1889 - Notice to Contractors.
    3. April 26, 1889 - Build it of Stone.
    4. April 27, 1889 - Twile be of Stone.

    Bay city Daily TribuneE -- Tuesday, April 23, 1889.


    The New Michigan Central Railroad Depot is an Assured Thing.

    It will be a Credit Alike to the Road and to Bay City --- Bids Allowed.

    The Michigan Central Railroad company is now ready to go ahead with the preliminaries to the erection of its elegant new depot at the Jackson street crossing. As will be seen through its advertisement in another column, it asks for bids for the construction of the proposed passenger station in accordance with plans and specifications to be seen at the office of Superintendent W.A. Vaughan. The building to be erected will be a credit to the company as well as to the city toward the prosperity of which the road has so largely contributed. It will involve the outlay of from $50,000 to $60,000 for the building alone; and in all its conveniences as well as architectural adornments will make it a model structure for the purpose to which it will be dedicated. A description of the depot as well as an accurate picture of what it will be, has already been given to the readers of THE TRIBUNE. It will unquestionably be among the finest in the state.

    There is a significance in this proposed improvement on the part of the company which cannot be measured by the direct benefit to the city. It is indicative of the confidence in the stability of Bay City and its growing importance as a commercial center that speaks volumes, for there is nothing of sentiment in the investments made by railroad corporations. They seek to consult only the soundest business principles and when the Vanderbilt system makes a mistake, it is high time to question the doctrine of infalability in every direction.

    The liberality of the road as foreshadowed in the character of the improvement it proposes to make, should add to its popularity and increase its patronage.

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    BAY CITY DAILY TRIBUNE -- TUESDAY, APRIL 23, 1889. - Page: 6, Column: 4.

    Notice to Contractors.

    Bids will be received at the office of J. D. Hawks, chief engineer, Michigan Central railroad, Detroit, Mich., until 12 o'clock Saturday, May 4, 1889, for the construction of a new passenger station at Bay City, Mich.

    Plans and specifications can be seen at the office of W. A. Vaughan, division superintendent, Michigan Central railroad, Bay City.

    The right to accept or reject all bids is reserved.

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    BAY CITY DAILY TRIBUNE -- FRIDAY, APRIL 26, 1889. - Page: 5.


    The Michigan Central Depot is Likely to be Constructed of That Material.
    Engineer Hawks will Arrive in Bay City To Day to Investigate the Feasibility.

    There is every indication that Bay City is to be favored to the full extent of her deserts by the Michigan Central railroad company. It is comparatively quick to respond to the claims of any community with which it is connected by business interests, and in doing so displays a liberality at variance with the selfish policy generally attributed to such organizations. Its Detroit passenger station is among the finest in the country and all depots erected throughout the state in the past few years are indicative alike of good taste and a proper regard for the patrons contributing to the prosperity of its system. It seems in the line of the Vanderbilt methods to invest a goodly portion of their vast earnings in permanent and substantial improvements which add to the value of their roads and at the same time are most desirable additions to the cities and towns in which they are placed. The importance of Bay City as a growing commercial center with an assured future in which the Central has a large contingent interest, has not been overlooked and the passenger station to be erected here will be a substantial evidence of the faith which the company has in the city and its prospects.

    The readers of THE TRIBUNE are already in possession of the fact that in size, internal arrangement and architectural symmetry, the new station is to be a model and one that will meet all its intended purposes for years to come. But in addition to these assurances there are prospects that will greatly enhance the value of the new structure as an ornament and improvement to Bay City. Chief Engineer Hawks will reach the city to-day for the purpose of consulting and making some investigations with a view to the selection of material for construction and adornment.

    There is a possibility, nearly approaching a probability, that the entire building will be of stone. The mottled stone of the Marquette district, as handsome as any the quarries of the world afford, has found favor in the eyes of the chief engineer and he has shown a penchant for discussing its merits when talking of Bay City's new depot. His desire to see, examine and learn the claims of the various quality of stone can scarcely be accounted for on the supposition that only the foundation and adornments are to be of that material.

    E. A. Cooley, solicitor for the company, was asked yesterday if there was any prospect for a stone building.

    I can only speak inferentially. The chief engineer is to be here tomorrow and we will look over the specimens of stones used in masonry and stone building. He seems to have a great regard for that mottled stone from the upper peninsula and has spoken of it a number of times when our new building here was under discussion. I am informed that there is no handsomer building material. The frequent discussion of the matter has led me to believe that we may possibly have a building complete of stone, but I have no information on the subject."

    "How about interior decorations?"

    "There again, I can only speak from hints dropped by the chief. For instance, he asked me how I thought birch would do for the ladies' waiting room, and made other inquiries that were pleasantly suggestive to me as a resident of Bay City. I am satisfied that the new station will be a great acquisition to the town and a credit to the road."

    In this connection, as due Mr. Cooley, it may be said that his interest in this important matter has not been limited to that of an official of the road. In this as in all other matters affecting the material welfare of the city, he has been active in his efforts to secure the best results.

    It is not saying too much to say that he has been largely influential in bringing about the proposed improvement and in having it one of such a satisfactory character.

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    BAY CITY DAILY TRIBUNE -- SATURDAY, APRIL 27, 1889. - Page: 5.


    The Michigan Central Passenger Depot Will be the Second Finest in Michigan.
    The Company is Negotiating For More Property Along First Street.

    It is now definitely settled that the Michigan Central Railroad company will erect their new passenger depot at the Jackson street crossing of stone, and that it will be the second finest depot in the state. This decision was foreshadowed in THE TRIBUNE of yesterday morning, but was not authoritatively given out until after the visit of Superintendent Brown and Chief Engineer Hawks. They arrived early yesterday morning, and as is the custom of railroad men, went promptly at the matter in hand. The chief engineer visited the stone yard of the city and examined specimens from Bay Port, Point Aux Barques and other quarries in the state, with a view to selecting material that would insure the best and handsomest structure. Just what stone will be decided upon is left to the future, but that a stone building will go up is determined upon. The chief engineer is still considering the claims of the mottled stone of Marquette, one of the most beautiful ever found or placed upon the market. It surpasses in many desirable features the choicest marbles of the old world, is suseptible of the highest degree of polish, is found in vast quantities in the upper peninsula, and is comparatively a recent discovery.

    After completing their business at Bay City, Messrs. Brown and Hawks left for North Saginaw to arrange for the erection of a new passenger station to supply the place of that recently burned. Plans, details and specifications for the proposed new building at Bay City are on exhibition at Superintendent Vaughan's office and home talent will be among the bidders for its construction.

    Harry Holmes and Matthew Lamont will enter the lists for the masonry work and Smalley Bros. & Co. will probably be heard from when bids for the iron work are opened. It is to be hoped that Bay City contractors will capture the plum. The most competent judges who have given the matter their attention, inform THE TRIBUNE that the new building will be the handsomest and most substantial in any city of like size in the country.

    The right of way of the Central through the city is much more limited than the usual foresight of railroad companies would have secured, and now that a new station will require new side tracks and switches, the company is negotiating for more land to meet the emergency thus presented. The matter will be all closed up in the near future.

    Related Notes & Pages

    Michigan Central Depot 1915
    {click to enlarge}

    Edgar A. Cooley

    Egar A. Cooley (Bio.)
    MCRR Depot (1890)
    People Referenced
    Brown, (Supt.)
    Cooley, Edgar A.
    Hawks, J.D.
    Holmes, Harry
    Lamont, Matthew
    Vaughan, W.A.
    Subjects Referenced
    Bay City, MI
    Bay Port, MI
    Detroit, MI
    Detroit passenger station
    First street
    Jackson street
    Marquette district
    North Saginaw, MI
    Point Aux Barques, MI
    Samlley Bros. & Co.
    Stone yard
    The Tribune
    Vanderbilt system
    Related References
    WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.