Bay City General
A variety of the city's images sequenced by street names.
The first white settlers in the Saginaw Valley were men involved in trade with Indians. Most of them lived in Detroit and made trips to the Saginaw Valley many times before setting up home here. Louis Campau became the first white settler in the valley when he built a trading post in 1813 and later this is where the settlement of Saginaw began to take place in 1815. In 1822 the land was platted for a village.
The early settlers in Saginaw termed the area north them on the river as lower Saginaw (now Bay City), or the flat land closest to the Saginaw Bay. Leon Trombley was the first to set up residence in this area in 1832 when he built a log-cabin along the river near what is Fourth street today.
The first platted property was done by Albert Miller in 1836 for the village of Portsmouth. A year later, the Saginaw Bay Company platted for the village of Lower Saginaw north of the Portsmouth plat. Both were on the east side of the river. Most of the west side of the river was still a primative wilderness at the time.
Members of the Trombley and Riley family owned much of the property including the lands purchased by Albert Miller and the Saginaw Bay Company for their plats.
In 1840 Dr. Daniel H. Fitzhugh purchased propty on the west side which he later platted for the village of Salzburg. And, Joseph Trombley in 1851 platted 25 acres on the west side near the bend of the river for the village of Bangor (Banks area). The area between the two remained wilderness until 1865, when the Sage and McGraw Mill was built giving birth to the company town of Wenonah. These three villages eventually merged to become West Bay City, a community with about the same population and geographical area as the village of Bay City.
All of these separate settlements represent the area of Bay City today.