Images of early manufacturing plants, lumberyards, merchant stores and other businesses.
Businesses played an important role in the life of a community much like today. However during the pioneer period many businesses were tapping into natures sources to serve a country that was expanding rapidly.
The first business established in the Saginaw Valley was fur trading with the Indians. The French traveled this area in the 1600s and traded with the Indians for furs which were shipped back to France. Two centuries, in 1831, Frenchman Leon Trombley, a fur trader, built a long-cabin along the river near 4th street in Bay City establishing first local business and permanent residence.
The most significant business that spiraled the growth of this area was lumbering. Investors from the east scrabbled to build saw-mills along the river to ship wood to the large eastern communities. The availability of lumber and water frontage gave growth to the shipbuilding business and made names like Crothwaite, Wheeler, Davidson, and Defoe known as among the best shipbuilders of their time.
In the Heritage section you will find biographies and articles on some of these businesses and the people who made them successful.