1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bay City
BAY CITY, a city and the county seat of Bay county, Michigan, U.S.A., on the Saginaw river, about 2 m. from its entrance into Saginaw Bay and about 108 m. N.N.W. of Detroit. Pop. (1890) 27,839; (1900) 27,628, of whom 8483 were foreign-born, including 2413 English-Canadians, 1743 Germans, 1822 Poles—the city has a Polish weekly newspaper—and 1075 French-Canadians; (1910, census) 45,166. Bay City is served by the Michigan Central, the Père Marquette, the Grand Trunk and the Detroit & Mackinac railways, and by lake steamers. The city extends for several miles along both sides of the river, and is in a good farming district, with which it is connected by stone roads. Among the public buildings are the Federal building, the city hall and the public library. The city has lumber and fishing interests (perch, whitefish, sturgeon, pickerel, bass, &c. being caught in Saginaw Bay), large machine shops and foundries (value of products in 1905, $1,743,155, or 31% of the total of the city’s factory products), and various manufactures, including ships (wooden and steel), wooden ware, wood-pipe, veneer, railroad machinery, cement, alkali and chicory. A salt basin underlies the city, and, next to the lumber industry, the salt industry was the first to be developed, but its importance has dwindled, the product value in 1905 being $20,098 out of $5,620,866 for all factory products. Near the city are valuable coal mines, and there is one within the city limits. At Essexville (pop. in 1910, 1477), N.E., at Banks, N.W., and at Salzbury, S.W. of Bay City, are beet-sugar factories—sugar beets are extensively grown in the vicinity. Alcohol is made from the refuse molasses obtained from these beet-sugar factories. The municipality owns and operates the water-works and electric-lighting plant. The settlements of Lower Saginaw and Portsmouth were made in 1837, and were later united to form Bay City, which was incorporated as a village in 1859, and chartered as a city in 1865. In 1905 West Bay City (pop. 1900, 13,119) and Bay City were consolidated.