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Shipbuilding in Bay City by 1875.

1875 history. Added May, 2011.

History Commercial Advantages and Future Prospects
of Bay City, Michigan Henry S. Dow, 1875.


No point on the great lakes offers better facilities for shipbuilding than Bay City. The quality of the oak timber to be found here is famed throughout the country, and it is even sought in the foreign markets, large quantities being sent to England. The timber is very large, and the quality of the best. Tamarack, a very useful and desirable timber for certain purposes in shipbuilding, is here to be had of sufficient size for upper-deck beams, etc. Pine sticks for masts and spars are cut in the neighboring woods and hauled direct into the yards, the same being true of the oak and other varieties used. It follows that the best obtainable material is to be had here at less cost than elsewhere. These facts have induced the establishment on the river of several extensive yards, from which have been launched some of the largest and finest vessels now afloat.

Among these yards may be mentioned that of Ballentine & Co. , opposite the northern limits of Bay City, which is furnished with a steam saw-mill and every facility for the construction of vessels. This yard is now represented in the lake marine by the large steamships D. Ballentine and C. J. Kershaw, the mammoth schooner A. B. Moore, and numerous other fine craft.

Capt. Davidson's ship-yard is located on the west side of the river, nearly opposite the centre of the city. It has also steam saw-mill and all needed appliances. The large steamship James Davidson was launched from this yard in the spring of 1874, and is one of the finest on the lakes.

Additional Notes.

  • Ballentine was along the river north of Midland Streeet, while Hitchcock and Davidson were south of Midland Street.
Subject Notes
Entrance to Saginaw River off Saginaw Bay.
Related Pages:
Shipbldg. Bay City (1886)
Davidson Shipyard.
{Bay Co. History Links}
- See Industry, Shipping.
People Referenced
Ballentine, Silas L.
Davidson, James
Hitchcock, P.B.
Subjects Referenced
Ballentine & Co.
Bay City, MI
Davidson shipyard
Hitchcock shipyard
West Bay City
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.