May 2003 - Edition No. 5

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This months graphic is a view looking north down Washington avenue in Bay City. Just 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

May 30, 2003:

This issue of Bay-Journal is being finalized on a new computer system which I purchased three days ago. It's been a hazzle transferring data and learning the ins and outs of the new system and Windows XP! The timing was bad knowing I had the newsletter to complete but I've made it to this point without crashing boths systems! Transferring data from the old system to a new system was a major factor that delayed my purchasing a new one. That process is a factor that I'm sure affects the decision of many people in up grading their computer systems -- you would think companies selling computers would by now being including software and a cable to make this a non-factor for customers. And, each new systems brings with it a learning curve to be overcome hopefully without messing the operating system in doing a lot of "what's this" intrusion. Before, the internet the hazzle was minimal, but now the new systems are deeply connected to the world wide web meaning users must have anti-virus and firewall software working properly to survive in the online information world. As I finalize this issue, I'm still struggling with configuration problems that haunted me on my old system? Not the sames problems, but new ones introduced by installation of new software.

The new system has even effected my viewing experience of Bay-Journal! The monitor and graphics card portray colors that are lighter than my old set up. The background graphic which is suppose to emulate a dark (Navy) blue stage curtain looked more like Royal blue! I tweaked the monitor for hours without success. Finally, I gave up and made a change to the graphic file itself. It now looks better to "me", but I can't help but wonder how it looks to "you"? I would like our viewing experience on Bay-Journal to be comparable, but I'm not sure it is! If you are experiencing some quality problems that appear to be "unique" to the Bay-Journal website and are using MS Explorer, let me know about it. I'm not sure if I can resolve it, but I sure would like to try.

I just realized my handy-dandy program for checking spelling is still on my old system!

Marvin Kusmierz, Webmaster

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).

Shoe Market to Close - (Bay City)
The Sherman & Sons, Inc. Shoe Market after more than 80 years of doing business in downtown Bay City will be closing. Its always difficult to see a business that has transcended several generations close, especially one that has been so successful and fought so hard against odds to stay open as long as it did. It held on in spite of having to compete with low cost affiliated shoe stores that now dominate the market. For many, heading to the Shoe Market was a family tradition that will no longer be possible. A "going out of business sale" is planned, giving patrons an opportunity to stock up at bargain prices while supplies last.

Restoration of Shearer's Residence - (Bay City)
Folks living on Monroe street are being treated to a happening. A well known local attorney, Edward M. Czuprynski, is renovating the former residence of George and Eva Shearer that was built in 1876. The renovation aimed at restoring the home to its original condition at a cost of about one million dollars. George Shearer was a popular business man of his time and for a period was mayor of Bay City. His brother, James Shearer, left his mark on Bay City and other areas as a designer and builder of major buildings -- he built the Shearer business building on Center and Adams that is presently being converted into new condominiums. We commend Mr. Czuprynski for his decision and dedication to recapturing one of our heritage structures. -- (Earlier this month, we added a page on James Shearer which you'll find further down the page.)

Alice & Jack Wirt Being Honored - (Boys & Girls Club)
A special dinner event will take place on Wednesday, May 14 at The Grand in Hampton Township at 6:30 pm to honor Alice and Jack Wirt who have been involved with the Bay County Boys and Girls Club since its inception in 1957. Eric Jylha of WNEM TV-5 will host the ceremony. Tickets are $75.00 per person and may be ordered from the club's office at 989-892-5723. We would like to extended our thanks and appreciation to the Wirts for their many years of service to Bay County.

Downtown Renaissance Up Date - (
The May 1, 2003 edition of this online magazine has several excellent articles with a focus on subjects related to Bay City's history and its relevance to the present. Of particular interest is the article by Dave Rogers, "Downtown Renaissance to Escalate This Year with Several Projects Pending", that touches on major plans that will revitalize some major downtown structures. You can read the complete article at:

Economic Evolution (Editorial)
These are exciting times for our community. The river landscape that was once the domain of heavy industrial operations providing thousands of jobs has been revitalized into parks, residences, harbors and flourishing small enterprises. Some may argue Bay City's best days are in its past and we will never replace the jobs we've lost. -- I would argue otherwise. The lost of these industries is not unique to Bay City, most every city with a similar industrial base has experienced the same erosion. It's an economic evolution, the world we live in is constantly being stressed to move on or fade into the history books. Newly developing nations with a lower cost base now benefit from our losses, but we do to! Because, the price of many products we buy are lower than if we had produced them for ourselves. The challenge is not to look back, rather it is to embrace the opportunities that such changes can bring. To move onto what we can do economically best. Bay City, despite a loud minority of doom sayers and a fancy for incessant political bickering, is doing just that. It is on a course that will reposition this community to be a competitive market for drawing new industries. These businesses will create new jobs that are different from those of the past. Embrace the change, seize the opportunity and move on to the new horizons of growth -- it's this reality that will best assure a brighter tomorrow.

Phase III Development - (Bay County Historical Society)
At the 84th Annual Meeting, Corrine Bloomfield, Curator of Exhibits and Education, announce that the final segment of this project has been initiated. Plans called for a new 2,700 square fool exhibit area that will allow for many of the stored artifacts to be displayed and thereby, enhance the knowledge and experience of visitors to the museum. New displays will include a 1910 WWI ambulance, the Civil War sword of Captain James G. Birney (grandson of the famous abolitionist) and an anchor from the battleship "Maine". The project is expected to cost $500,000 of which 100,000 has been raised. If you would like to make a contribution, check their website for contact information:

Featured Local Websites

Bay County Government (from White Pages)
Have you ever wondered what Bay County government does? Well the answer is "a lot"! And, there's no reason to wonder anymore -- it's pretty much all on their website. Visiting their website it will become apparent of the extra effort they've taken to keep you informed. The site is well organized and easy to browse. You can learn who all the county officials are, view a complete department index, find information pages for the various courts and the sheriffs office. Each of section includes a wealth on information which can save you having to call or make a trip to the county building. Our county website is an excellent example of what an informative public service should be.

Auburn Hotel (from Yellow Pages)
If you've made the trip from Bay City to Midland or visa versa, then you've most likely stopped at the Auburn Hotel for a refreshing drink or sandwich. If you haven't made the trip is quite a while -- you can now see what you've been missing by visiting their website. Their "Specials" and "Events" are sure to get you heading their way. They offer "day of the week" specials, for example -- on Tuesday nights you can play pool for free! And, don't forget to check their online "Menu" which includes photos and prices of the food specialties. "That Willyburger looks good, I'm going to try that one the next time!"

Featured Local History

Arnold's Bakery (Heritage/People)
In 1856, two brothers Frederick and Gottfried Arnold started Bay City's first bakery. Two years earlier, they arrived in Lower Saginaw (now, Bay City). They immigrated from Bavaria in 1854 and were heading to Detroit, but fearing the cholera epidemic raging there -- they head north to Lower Saginaw. Frederick found work at the sawmill own by the McEwan brothers saving enough money to start the bakery.

In a 1915 Bay City Times article, Frederick recalled these early days, "Water street was the business center. There was no pavement and long planks constituted the sidewalks. East of Washington avenue there were no houses," In this article he credited the large local Indian population for helping to get his new business off the ground. They accounted for most his baked goods sales which average about $2.50 a day. He contributed much of this success to the fact that his wife Louise had learned the language of the Indians.

Visit the featured page on Frederick Arnold and his family members to learn more about Arnold's Bakery and their famous "Ma-Ma Bread" which they express shipped to other points in Michigan. Included are brief histories of each member and a pictorial history of Arnold's Bakery. Be sure to enlarge the 1909 photo to see the details which is a view south west showing an Arnold promotional horse and wagon in front of the store on the corner of Saginaw street and Fifth ave.
- Heritage/People/Arnold, Frederick

Changes and Up Dates to Website

Eastern High School Monthly 1896 (Contributed by Dan MacMeekin)
This presentation contain 19 large image files of a student newsletter, called High School Monthly, published in 1896. It's a joy to read what they had to say. Included are several ad from businesses of that time period.
- Heritage/Groups/Eastern High School Monthly

Bio. of James G. Eddy (Contributed by Charlotte Lamm)
Born in Bay City during 1881, James married Mary Horton Cooley of Bay City. They eventually drawn to Seattle, WA where James could satisfy his lumbering interests. It was there that James pioneered forestry genetics and created the Institute of Forest Genetics.
- Heritage/People/Eddy, James G.

Pictorial: Frankenmuth, MI (Contributed by Cindy Hageneur)
Our thanks to Cindy we have some nice vintage shots of Frankenmuth, our neighboring community and are now in a pictorial format. Frankenlust township was formed about the same time as Frankenmuth, by immigrants from Bavaria and they share some original heritage with each other.
- Pictorial Library/Frankenmuth

City Hall, 1894 News Article
This article appeared two years before completion of the new city hall. The reporter describes some the details of the building becoming evident of the building at that time.
- Writings/City Hall 1894

Forest City House (Hotel)
January 1949 newspaper article on the closing of this Bay City hotel that was built around 1859 on the southwest corner of Washington and Sixth.
- Writings/Forest City Hotel

Many of you may not be aware of the icons on the top of each page. One will stop background music and the other is our UTILS Menu which is a quick link screen to popular pages on Bay-Journal. We've added some more connections on it.
- UTILS Menu

Selective U.S. History
We've added two historical documents to the History section, the "Declaration of Independence" and "Lincoln's Gettysburg Address". Other histories include that of the Flag, Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance and a historical events timeline.
- History/United States

New Learning Games
We've added two old-time favorite games to the Family Center, Word Search and Memory. Both can be played by most any age group and each has several plays to keep you challenged.
- Information/Family Center

Biography of James Shearer
James was born in Albany, New York in 1823. Forty-one years later, he moved to Bay City where which became his home for the balance of his life. An accomplished architect and builder, he helped build the Capital buildings of two states, Alabama's in Mongormery and Michigan's in Lansing. Bay City would become his final home where he continued to excell in business and civic leadership.
- Heritage/People/James Shearer

Defoe Shipbuilding Database
We've added a database of ships built by the Defoe Shipbulding Co. courtesy of the website, There Once Was An Industry, it lists ships built by the yard since 1912.
- Heritage/Business/Defoe/Database of Vessels Built

Public Log Book (Home)
We had to change hosts for this page as the previous host website was down for over three days. This required a change in the page layout. The Public Log Book is a mini-message board for viewers who would like to share a comment on any subjected related to the Bay County area or the Bay-Journal website. This page makes it easy to do so. No email or registration is required.

Pictorial Up Dating (Pictorials)
We've been testing a new slide viewer for over a month, not hearing about or seeing any problems with it -- we have now up dated our pictorials. We continue to use the embedded pictorial which includes a text/photo presentation on one page. The new one will have an "Intro" on the subject as a lead in to the slide viewer itself. The advantage of this one are many, all pictures load in actual size which can be auto or manually rotated. It has a zoom in/out feature by left/right clicking on the photo, and you set your own back ground color, speed and more using the "Advance" feature. All pictorials include different background music that we hope adds to your viewing experience - if not, it can be easily shut off.

We've added two new theme pictorials, "Buildings" and "Businesses". Some of the images are from other theme presentations, but most are new or different.

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