April 2003 - Edition No. 4

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This months graphic is a composite of representing people in Bay County's history. The magazine cover of College Humor was done by Bay City born Rolf Armstrong, a famous pin-up artist of the 1900s. Next is John Clarkson, Hall of Fame baseball player who lived in Bay City. The snap shot is of George Butterfield, a well educator and historian. And, the lady crossing the log is Anne Taylor, a local school teacher and first to go over Niagra Falls in a barrell. Learn more about some interesting people in our history at Heritage Library/People. ahead is the intersection with Center avenue. The scene is probably from around the 1920s, new fangled automobiles are popular and the rails of the street car are still present.

Commentary by Bay-Journal

First Anniversary!
Bay-Journal celebrated its first anniversary on April 24th. It has come a long ways from its beginning of about 40 pages then to 282 now. The site has been visited over 53,000 times with over 96,000 pages viewed during the first year. The figures are a little misleading as they include search engines doing spidering of the site for up dating of their data bases.

Much of the effort for the first year went into building content with 32 people who donated to its content. This is about the only goal missed, hopes were that a hundred or more would participate. None the less, I'm grateful to those did. Maybe this year we'll reach that number and more!

Thank you for your continued interest in Bay-Journal. Become a participant if you can.

Spammers & Hackers
If you have received an email from "bay-journal@chartermi.net" other than this newsletter or a response to an email you sent to us, it is coming from a spammer and was not originated by Bay-Journal. We became aware of this when a number of messages bounced back us due to email addresses no longer being valid -- and, they were not send out by Bay-Journal! This "email identity theft" has been reported to chartermi.net, our email service provider. Some of these have been reported as possible "virus" attachments! Always "use caution all attachments" to emails -- make sure they have been scanned with an up dated virus software before opening them, even if it is from someone you know. Certain virus when installed unknowingly on a user's computer will dispatch hidden emails to listings in your address book. The only assurance that you do not have a virus is to scan your computer system frequently (at least once a month) with an anti-virus software. We regret that some individuals choose such a destructive form of pleasure when such talent could be used in a positive way. (You can learn more about virus and spamming on our special feature page.)
- Information/Family Center/Virus Advisory

Annoying Ad Displays
As you browse Bay-Journal you will undoubtedly encounter a few annoying "pop up ads". These are presently beyond our control as they are the condition of using "free" hosting services. The goal is to eventually eliminate this form of service as Bay-Journal becomes self-supporting, that is, when it is no longer a personal expense of mine and sponsors take over its support. As an example, the new Public Log Book (Guest Book) is a hosted "free" service which includes a banner ad on the top of the page. It was the least obtrusive one we could find.

The Bay-Journal website is hosted on a shared web server for a monthly fee. Unfortunately, this server does not include a CGI bin capability required to add features like a classifieds page, guest book, message boards and many others. This month marks the first anniversary of Bay-Journal existence online. Most of the goals set for the first year have been exceed. As we enter into our second year one of our goals is to remove the "free" hosting services and have full control of ad displays. All of our ads are set at the top of the content pages or in the right hand column.

Highlighted Local News

Bits of information about what's happening in Bay County. If you are interested in reading local news stories, we recommended visiting MLive (Bay City Times articles) or My Bay City (special subject articles).

Indians Halt New Condos - Bay City
Work in preparing the 7.7 acre site of the new Iron Bridge condos project on Marquette street was halted after a local Indian group complained the site was an Indian burial grounds. The site is intend to accommodate sixty eight condos adding a significant new residential community near the Saginaw River.

New Home Improvement Store - Monitor
The new Menard home improvement store on Wilder road has recently opened. Its only a few miles west of the Home Depot store on State street in Bangor.

Cheese Town Revival? - Pinconning
- Source: Bay City Times article by James Morisette, 15 Apr 2003.
The former Kraft General Foods cheese plant owned by the city of Pinconning has been sold to David L. Peterson of Turner (Arenac Co.). Plans are to use the building for storage in aging cheese eventually leading to a cheese production facilities. The building which has been vacant since 1996 is in need of significant repairs that will take up to a year to complete. As fate would have it -- the city was seriously considering demolition of the building until they were approached in January by Peterson. We wish Peterson much success in giving meaning to Pinconning label as the "Cheese Capital" of Michigan.

Construction Boom! - Auburn
- Source: Bay City Times article by Amy Jo Johnson, 13 Apr 2003.
Several projects are ongoing or planned in Auburn. Mention are: The library expansion and renovation that is well underway; The new Oak Park Mall built by Neil Deshano owner of County Wide Builders is now completely occupied and Deshano is considering two more projects for the Auburn area -- a foster care facility and a sub-division; the Downtown Development Authority is raising funds aim at new landscaping along Midland road; Several other businesses have either completed up date projects or have plans for new ones.
- Williams Township Home Page

"Aloft" - Aviation History - Bay City
"Aloft", a new book written by Geraldine Higgs has just been released. Geraldine is a local resident and has long enjoyed an interest in local aviation which is the subject of her book. To my knowledge, it is the first book devoted to local aviation history. We have not seen the book yet, but certainly are looking forward to reading what Geraldine has been able to developed on the early aviators of our area. We extend our appreciation and thanks to Geraldine for her work in capturing this significant history and her contribution to our written history.

New Hotel and Conference Center - Bay City
With much of the foundation work done, above ground structural framing has begun on the new $34.6 million Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center scheduled for completion early next year. The facilities will provide a 150 room hotel, 16,292 square feet of conference space and a parking deck. You can learn specifics about this project at the Bay City Government website:
- Doubletree Hotel & Conference Center - Bay City.
- or to learn more about www.DoubleTree.com

Featured Local Websites

Bay County MIGenWeb
This is the Bay County extension of the US Gen Web project ran by Donna Hoff-Grambau and Kay L. Mason. The online presence is supported by Rootsweb and Michigan Family History Network. The site offers several databases useful to both genealogists and those interested in local history -- Cemetery Listings, Census Online, Churches and others.
- www.rootsweb.com/~mibay/

Michigan Family History Network (MFHN)
The have over 200,000 genealogy records online that are well organized, including by county and other subjects. You'll find a wealth of information here about Michigan's history. Their Bay County page includes databases for local births, deaths and a listing of the 1926 Centralia from Bay City Central High School.
- www.mifamilyhistory.org

City Hall and Bay City Government
Have you ever had trouble finding the right city person to contact or wonder what projects the city has going? Well, there this and much more information available on the city's website.

These are exciting times for Bay City, many major projects are underway and the landscape of the community is changing in dramatic ways. At the same time, the city embraces its heritage by actively encouraging and supporting restoration projects in its historical business districts. And, the river that was once lined with manufacturing plants, boat builders, sawmills and other businesses -- is now a haven for public use and for new developments. Well... don't take my word for -- learn for yourself, it's all there on your Bay City government's website.
- www.baycitygovernment.com/

Old City Hall Restaurant
This excellent dining spot to its name from the original location of Bay City first city hall on Saginaw street. The site is attractive and informative. A full menu with pricing is available along with wine and beer listings. You can even sign up for email specials!
- www.theoldcityhall.com

Featured Local History

Historical City Hall of Bay City (Heritage/Buildings)
The original city hall was located on the east side of Saginaw street between 4th and 5th streets. A new city hall was needed for this city of 35,000 citizens that only 30 years earlier numbered 800. City leaders wanted the new city hall to be of sufficient size and stature, and capable of accommodating a future population of 100,000. They contracted local architects Leverettt A. Pratt and Walter Koeppe to design a structure worthy of their vision, and they did. The new city hall opened on March 22, 1897 at its new Washington avenue location, an area that was mainly residential at the time.

The historic building was threaten with distraction during the 1970s, in need of repairs and costly to maintain -- many wanted a new building, but to our good fortune they were not the majority. Instead, the city took on a renovation project that up date the electrical, heating and plumbing. The exterior was repaired and cleaned, and, the bell tower and clock were returned to usable condition. The future of the city hall building is secure as it is now on the national register of historical buildings.

The words of Mayor Hamilton M. Wright at the inaugural ceremony in 1897 ring true yet today, "a monument of the public spirit characteristic of Bay City, and in which all its citizens should take a just pride."
- www.bay-journal.com/bay/1he/bldgs/bc-hall.html

Changes and Up Dates to Website

Third Street Bridge, 1890 News Accounts (Heritage/Writings)
We've established another major category, "Writings" in the Heritage section for capturing history as it was written then. We expect this section to contain a variety of sources such as newspaper accounts, old correspondence that describe that time period, siginificant documents and more.

Our first entry was submitted by Allen Flood who has had a long time interest in local history and has put together many interesting collections of materials on various local subjects. One of these subjects is the Third Street Bridge which he shares in the "Writings" section are Bay City Daily Tribune newspaper articles written in 1890, at the time when its was being reconstructed as an iron bridge replacing the original wood structure.
- www.bay-journal.com/bay/1he/writings/third-st-bridge1890s-tribune.html

Selective U.S. History (History)
Many of you may not be aware that tucked into the bottom right column of the History main page is a section on U.S. History. There you'll find a timeline on U.S. historical events, the history of our flag and anthem, and a new page that has President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
- www.bay-journal.com/bay/1hi/

Aerials of Bay City Area (Pictorials)
Jerry Clayton, a friend of Bay-Journal who happens to be a talented photographer that loves to fly is sharing a series of aerials photos with us. He took the photos in the 1996-98 time period. Unfortunately, we had to sacrifice of Jerry's quality work to reduce file sizes and speed up their loading. None the less, they are excellent views of many sights around this area; Wenonah Park, Veterans Memorial Park, Central High School, Bay Medical, quite a few marinas, and much more. Enjoy!
- www.bay-journal.com/1pi/aerials

Defoe Boat and Motor Works (Heritage/Businesses)
This was the original name of the Defoe Shipbuilding Company founded by Harry Defoe in 1905. Harry had a passion with boats as a child and he turned it into one of Bay City's major businesses. He died in 1957 at the age of 81 while he was in Washington DC working on another government contract for the company. The company hits its peak production period during WWII when it was called on to support the country's war effort. A yard crew of 4000 were turning out a ship per week. Besides warships, they built some of the finiest yachts include one owned by President John F. Kennedy. (This history page includes a pictorial.)
- www.bay-journal.com/bay/1he/bus/defoeshipyard.html

Public Log Book (Home Page)
Something new we're trying! Its actually a guest book of a "free" hosting service which we've decided to use for a public log book for you and other viewers to use in posting comments related to Bay-County or Bay-Journal. Feel free to recommend suggestions on what might improved Bay-Journal and don't forget to tell us where we've gone astray. A non-website comment might be something positive about living in Bay County. Another might be an acknowledgment of a group or person who has contributed to improving our community. There are only two rules, vulgar language or negative comments (except about website) are not acceptable and will be deleted.
- View Bay-Journal's Public Log Book

History of Bay City Players (Heritage/Theater)
The origins of Michigan's oldest continuous theater group dates back to 1899 when the Bay City Art Club was formed as a study group and met for years in the homes of local residents. Their first performance was in 1917 and was entitled, "An Afternoon of Interpretation." In 1929, their name was changed to the "Bay City Theater Guild" and in 1931, they became the "Bay City Players". Along with their history are some vintage photos and a listing of performances from 1917 to 2001.
- www.bay-journal.com/bay/1he/theater/bcplayers.html

1922 Polk Directory - Bay City History & Stats. (Heritage/Places)
This is a retyping of pages 71 - 79 of the 1922 Polk directory. It provides a perspective of Bay City at during this time period, statistics related to population and public facilities, all supplied by the Bay City Board of Commerce. Several photos of building blocks are featured along with a number of factories that supported a population of 52,358 at that time.
- www.bay-journal.com/bay/1he/dir/bcity-1922dir-history.html

Web Yellow Pages (Information/Community)
We're trying a new Yellow Page set up using a table technique that allows websites to be more easily located. The table features a filter system to find companies by Category, you can also Sort the data by clicking on a column's header or do a Search using keywords. The table requires viewers to have Java 1.1 or higher enable and browser needs to be 4.0 or higher. Let us know if you encounter any problems with this up date.
- www.bay-journal.com/bay/1in/yp.html

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