August 2003 - Edition No. 8

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  • Featured Local History & This Months Graphic

    Arnold's Bakery was established in Bay City during 1856 by Frederick Arnold. It was Bay City's good fortune when Arnold immigrated from Orternsburg (Germany) in 1854, his original destination was Detroit, but when he heard of the plaque rappant there, he headed north to Bay City. During the initial years of the bakery's operation, the local Indians where his best customers. You can learn more about the Arnold family and see their history pictorial at:
    Heritage/People/Arnold, Frederick

    Bay-Journal CommentaryTo top of page.

    August 1 - July A Busy Month!

    There were 14 "additions/changes" to Bay-Journal during the month of July and the website now has over 500 pages. If you counted the database files and the images, we're close to a thousand viewing experiences for those fequenting Bay-Journal.

    One of the new pages is "Service Memorial", its been been in the making for several months and was finalized in July. We'e dedicated this page to individuals in service relation positions such as: Police, Fire and Military veterans. Featured is a board listing the individuals from Bay County who paid the ultimate price in service to their community and country. They deserve a special place in our history and memory.

    An excellent way that we can as individuals pay them respect is to take time during the two holidays set aside to remember the sacrifices of those who served. Memorial (National Remembrance) Day and Veterans (Armistice) Day. Memorial Day in honor soldiers who have fallen in conflict for their country. Veterans Day recognizes all who served in the military. One way to collectively show our respect to these individuals is on each of these holidays to take a moment of silence individually and as a group to acknowledge why these days are important. That's the least we can do to show our gratitude for what they've done. They are not just another day off from work -- each is solemn day whereby we recall sacrifices made on our behalf.
    Service Memorial

    Think about what they've done, what they've given up -- surely, spending a portion of Veterans Day paying respect to a distant family member, a friend, a neighbor or a fellow citizen of the great nation isn't asking too much our time.

    August 1 - Fictional History Available

    Edward E. Langenau has written a novel, "Lumberjacks and Ladies", set in the history of Michigan's lumbering era during the 1870s. Of local interest, is its inclusion of Bay City as the home of Langenau's fictional characters who use their lumbering fortune to build a mansion here. The book is available at the Bay County Historical Society (Washington St.) and the Store & Studio (Water St.), or you can get it online at

    August 1 - Great News from Smithsonian!

    Jan Rau who is chairwoman of the River of Time Event has learned that the event has been chosen for an upcoming feature article in the Smithsonian Magazine. Its an outstanding announcement that will help create further awareness of our community throughout the country and to many around the world. Journalist David DeVoss will cover the event that takes place September 27-28. It will appear in the magazine sometime after that. "Kudos" go out to the Bay County Historical Society and the people who make this annual trip through history possible.

    August 3 - Is Bubbles Acting Up?

    Not sure what's happening? As some of you may know, last month we added "Bubbles" as our tour guide for the kids section of Bay-Journal. Bubbles had been doing a pretty good job up until recently! The other day I was taking the tour along with Bubbles and all of a sudden he diappeared behind that dreaded "red X box". He repeated this randomly as I followed his tour through the other pages. It may be my system acting up or it may be a javascript problem. I don't know which? Please let me know if you're having a similar problem with Bubbles. I may have to modify his behavior so that he's not so bashful.
    - Send your email to B-J's Bashful Bubbles

    August 8 - Darn! I Missed Madonna! -- Feature Article by Marcie Noonan

    People Magazine
    - 1985 -

    Timing is everything in life!

    If only my sweet tooth had acted up on Wednesday, August 6, and if only I had dropped by St. Laurent Brothers to satisfy it -- I may have seen Bay City born "Madonna", the most popular female rock music star in history!

    Well a few lucky individuals did, those working there and about a half dozen customers.
    - Read full article

    August 9 - Make Your Plans!

    The tall ships are heading for Bay City and the celebration is only days away. Beginning August 14th, they be the center attraction of a weekend celebration with activies for all ages to enjoy. You won't want to miss out on this special occasion. You can get the details of events at their website.
    - [Tall Ship Celebration]

    August 15 - A Page Menu

    Nothing major! The pages of the online magazine have been getting a little long and a little annoying having to scolling down so far to get to a section. So, we decided to add a "page menu" and a "return to top" to the header bar that takes you back to the menu. there!

    August 17 - Tall Ships Celebration Ends

    It was a grand celebration this past weekend as the Appledores had the company of eight tall ships anchor on both sides of the Saginaw River between the Independence and Veterans bridges. They were the best spot to view these majestic specimens of another day. The folks putting this special event on deserve all of our thanks for a job well done. Its size and complexity is hidden by how good a job they did in preparing for the hundreds of thousands that carvanned into town. I was impressed with the local merchants and how well they prepared for taking advantage the extra shoppers. If you missed it all -- you can see a tiny video of the tall ships, but I'm telling yah -- its nothing like being there in person. The loan exception being, our video has a music score to enhance viewing pleasure. Head over to the Pictorials and under Videos way down at the bottom of the page is our "Tall Ships Celebration - 2003" show. Pictorial Library

    Local News HighlightsTo top of page.

    Bits of information related to what's happening in Bay County. For more extensive local online news, visit MLive (Bay City Times articles) or My Bay City (special subject articles).

    August 1 - Bells Ring One Last Time - Bay City Times (Jul 30)

    On July 30th, the historic bells of Visitation Church on State street in Bay City rang for the last time. The bells which were installed in 1923 using a team of horses to raise them to the bell tower khad remained silent since 1988 when they were shut down due safety reason caused by the tower's poor structural condition. An electric carillon system was installed in their place. However, knowing the end was near, a group of volunteers tied ropes to the clappers and let bells ring out loud again. Afterwards, they were removed with heavy lifting cranes. They'll be stored temporarily until a decision is made on their disposition. It would be nice if they could remain in the community as memorials of another era. Maybe they could spread among our park systems or even inside the city owned Oak Ridge cemetery. I'm sure any number of appropriate places to keep this objects of our history here where they belong. (source: Bay City Times, Jul 30, 2003 - Amy Bartner)

    August 1 - Landmark Comes Tumbling Down - Portsmouth Township

    Another landmark at the corner of Tuscola and German road fell to the wrecking ball. The stone and oak wood structure of that has stood there since the 1880s serving youngsters of farmers is now only a memory. It was known as Washington school for most its life, then Hess School in the 1960s when it became a part of the public school system. It was sold about 17 years ago and has been in private hands since. However, it was the township that commenced its tearing down after being unable to affect its owner to make repairs. I recall the school from when I lived on a farm off Cass and attended the third and fourth grades at Townline School. Our school had some kind of joint activity that was held at Washington School which was larger than Townline. It had a ball field behind the school and back then, it was the "big" school to me. (source: Bay City Times, Jul 31, 2003 - Tim Younkman)

    August 8 - Bridge Closed! (Bangor Towship)

    The old bridge spanning the Kawkawlin River on State Park Drive has been closed to begin renovations of the deteriorating bridge that was built in 1929. It is the largest project under taken by the Bay County Road Commission in its history made possible by $2.36 million grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation. When completed it will be wider and have turning lane for traffic onto Boy Scout Road. The projects is expected to be completed by December 1.

    August 8 - Former City Manager Resigns (Bay City)

    James M. Polenick, the former city manager of Bay City, has resigned his position as Vice-President of the Wenonah Park Properities, a non-profit corporation set up to own and operate the new hotel-conference center being built on the Saginaw river shoreline south of Wenonah Park. The resignation effective August 1st, was prompted by his recent hiring as the city manager of Rio Rancho, New Mexico. We wish him and his family well and extended our appreciating to him for the progress of this community during his tenure as its city manager.

    August 10th - Expansions at Educational Centers Nearing Completion

    Six new buildings costing 62.5 million will be completed in time for the fall school year at Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) and at its neighboring educational community of Delta College, a $42 million expansion is also being completed. Both are highly accredited educational centers and invaluable assets to local communities of the valley. Their success speaks well for the cultural future of this area and its potential for new growth in the years to come.

    August 12th - Pow Wow in Frankenlust May Bring Casino

    According the the lastest news article by Dave Rogers, some good news may be in store for Bay County. Apparently discussion have been taking place with Frankenlust township officials and owners of Bay Valley to locate an Indian casino in the old Bay Valley Tennis facilities. It certainly is an ideal place for one if there is to be one built in this area. It's right off I-75, The Bay Valley Resort is readily available for overnighters and it's a hop, skip and jump to either Bay City, Saginaw or Midland. There should be no complaints from the larger communities as was the case when a casino was proposed for the Bay City Up Town at River's Edge project. It seems like an ideal situation, that is unless you are among those enjoying the peaceful life on that hard earned money and have a residential home near the golf course there. But, then again, they may like the idea of being able to walk over to a poker table or tug for awhile on a slot machine. -- You can get the full details of this story at...
    - []

    August 19th - Former Mayor Dies

    Anne Hatchel, Bay City's first female major, passed away on August 18th at her residence at the age of 78. She was a staunch supporter of this community and will be missed. We extend our condolences to her family.

    August 24th - Bay City Has A New Manager

    The Bay City commission has selected Robert Belleman as the city's new manager on a vote of 7 to 2. Belleman was assistant to James Palenick, the former city manager who was released in August 2002. Belleman has been filling in since then as "temporary" manager. He was awared the position over three other candidates for the office. We extend congratulations to Mr. Belleman and wish him much success in taking Bay City forward in the years to come.

    August 28 - Bay City History Conference 2006?

    An article by Dave Rogers of reports, "Local civic leaders indicated Bay City definitely will be making a pitch to host the State History Conference in 2006." The news was released in conjunction with a recent Rotary Club luncheon where Dr. Larry Wagenaar, executive director of the Historical Society of Michigan, was the guest speaker. Local history buffs are bound to be delighted by this possibility and the opportunity it presents to feature our local history's contribution to state and national history. This years 129th annual conference is being held October 3-5 in Port Huron.
    - [ Rogers article] - [Historical Society of Michigan Website]

    Featured Local WebsitesTo top of page.

    Riversbend Rehabilitation Center - Wilder Rd., Bangor Township

    While viewing their website, I was surprised to learn their operations are set up in four residential houses, three on Wilder Road and one on Beaver Road. Their website includes a page with images of exterior and interior of the houses. They specialize in rehabilitating patients with brain injuries, but also treat conditions related to the spinal cord and stroke victims. Visit their website to learn more about them, and if you know of someone whom they helped, let them know that you appreciate their service.

    Begick Nursery and Garden Center - West Side Saginaw Rd., Monitor Township

    Here’s another one that surprised me – I didn’t know they offered “Beer and Wine” supplies? I knew about them supplying “Christmas” holdiay decorations because I bought the family artificial tree there, it was a beauty and a bargain considering the price of real trees. A nice feature of there are the many product photos of the plants and equipment they sell. A nice garden feel to it. You can see their website at:

    Changes and Up Dates to WebsiteTo top of page.

    August 1 - New Weather Service (up date)

    We've changed our weather service provider. Our weather page now provides current weather conditions, a five day forecast and weather conditions for major cities. Our weather page also features cartoons from to help lighten up your day and a rotating "opinion" poles on topical subjects.
    Special Features/Weather

    August 3 - Pictorial Photos (up date)

    We've up dated some of the photos and added a few new ones to the Pictorials on "Veterans Memorial Park" and "People". We'll continue to do this as we are able to get more photos of the park. (Feel free to donate a favorite photo to these or any other pictorial.)
    - Pictorials/Veterans Memorial Park - Pictorials/People

    August 4 - Map History (new page)

    Maps are an interesting means to understanding the evolution of history, especially when they are displayed together so one can easily compared changes over time. We've done this with the new page created on Bay County's map history. It begins with a map from 1763 when our area was a part of a huge Indian Reserve controlled by the British. It goes on from there to show the Michigan Territory that comprised all of today's upper Mid-West region. And, concludes with a series of maps showing the formation of counties in the Saginaw Valley.
    - Map Library/Maps History

    August 5 - New Township Histories (up dates)

    We've update some of the township pages that were without any history, they now do. We would like to improved on the presentation of materials for each over time. We hope some that live within these communities will be able to help us in this regard. The up dated pages are for the townships of: Bangor, Frankenlust, Fraser, Gibson, Merritt, Mount Forest, Monitor, Pinconning and Portsmouth.
    - Bay County/Communities

    August 14 - Bay County Civil War History (new page)

    Article covering background on the Grand Old Army of the Republic, how lost veterans were found and some history on Pine Ridge cemetery where many are buried.
    - Heritage/Groups/Memorial

    August 14 - Pictorial: Cemeteries (up date)

    Added photos and history. Shows the special veterans area and several of the monuments dating back to the early 1860s. James G. Birney established the cemetery which replaced "Potter's Field" located at Washington and 11th.
    - Pictorials/Cemeteries

    August 15 - Land Patents (new pages)

    Open a new category in the Places Section of the Heritage Library covering old patents issues to early pioneers. Presently listing three land patents issued to James G. Birney. More to come!
    - Heritages/Places Land Patents

    August 16 - Rare Climpse Into History (new page)

    You are in for a treat, especially if you are a history buff. Thanks to the generosity of Alan Flood, a gentleman who has been collecting local history for years, we have a rare panoramic view of Bay City from 1872. A series of eight photos were shot from the bell tower of the First Baptist Church that was once on Center and Madison avenues. The images are badly deteriorated, but there is more than enough visible to awe you on how much has changed from then to now. You must see the river front, what an amazing site -- it was the lumbering era and these pictures will show you what it was like back then.
    - Pictorials/1872 Panoramic View

    August 16 - County Buys a Bridge (new page)

    This is a series of articles contributed by Alan Flood regarding the Third Street Bridge. In January 1883, the Bay City Tribune published several articles about of the meetings held by the Bay County Board of Supervisors at the time the county was in the process of purchasing the toll bridge with the intention of allowing free passage. The articles include names of many citizens of that era.
    - Heritage/Writings/County Buys A Bridge

    August 17 - Davidson Shipbuilding Company (new page)

    Another donation from Alan Flood, this time an article on James Davidson and his shipbuilding company which was located in West Bay City during the late 1870s. Today, the property is a part of Veterans Memorial Park in Bay City. One of the shipyard's slips still exists and is near the Bay County Community Center. This gives a great deal of background on James Davidson and his family, many of whom carried on in shipbuilding.
    - Heritage/Businesses/Davidson Shipbuilding Co.

    August 19 - Oak Ridge Cemetery (up date, new page)

    We've added the Oak Ridge Cemtery on Henry street in Bay City to the Cemetaries Pictorial and a new map page of the cemetery. Oak Ridge dates back to about 1852 and actually got its start as a part of the Drake Mill property. The first burial there was one of the workers from the mill.
    - Pictorials/Cemeteries, Oak Ridge Cemetary Map

    August 23 - Pine Ridge Cemetery (new map)

    Added cemetery map of the historic Pine Ridge cemetery on the s.e. corner of Columbus and Tuscola. Pine Ridge was founded by James Birney, the son of famed abolitionish James G. Birney. He is buried there with his wife Amanda, his grandson James G., a Civil War veteran and his brother George Birney.
    - Pine Ridge Cemetery Map

    August 29 - We Had A Talk With Bubbles

    On August 3rd, we acknowledged in our Commentary section that Bubbles, our official tour guide of the Kids section of Bay-Journal, had the unusal behavior of hiding being a sign with a big red "X" on it! As much as we tried to control this behavior which we attribute to his shyness, we couldn't do it. We threw away his sign, but each time we did, he came up with another one. So, we gave up!

    Effect today, bubbles no longer wanders around the page and the only signs he has are the ones we produced for him. Bubbles actually likes the new arrangement, in his words, "I felt kind of foolish swimming around the page like a gold fish. It was demeaning!" We apologized to Bubbles even though we didn't know this was a problem for him. We had no idea he was so shy. Or, is this his way of getting rid of the planes which he never liked either? .... hmmmm.
    - Bubbles Kids Tour of Bay-Journal

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