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Bay City, Michigan

Updated on June 9, 2012

Old Town Bay City, Michigan

Bay City Recrreation Area (photos public domain)
Bay City Recrreation Area (photos public domain)
Bay County
Bay County
Bay City Lighthouse
Bay City Lighthouse

Madonna in Bay City

One of my favorite places in America is Bay City, Michigan. I stay there often when I visit my friends and fellow martial arts instructors, musicians, and artists. Madonna is from Bay City and her grandmother still resides in town. One of my friends attends her church and I have visited their services and enjoyed them.

From the Riverwalk board walk and its American Bald Eagles, herons,cranes, ducks, geese, gulls, swans, and other friendly birds and people, to the Christmas Show at the local Planetarium downtown, to Mama Lupo's delicious homemade ice cream on Henry Street, to the antique shops and cafes on the riverfront of the Saginaw River, Bay City is great! The 4th of July Parade is a wonderful event, as are parades on Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

The city bus has no regular bus stops and you can stand anywhere along the routes to be picked up as a passenger. The drivers are alert and never miss a passenger. If yyou have a physical challenge, they will come right to your door.

Many streets are named with Native Americans in mind, especially Tittabawassee, which mutated into Ittibittywassee Road in the Cat Who Mysteries from Lilian Jackson Braun. She is an author of over 60 years that combined counties in the thumb of Michigan with others of Bay County and the northwest counties to create her own "Moose County", Michigan, "400 miles north of everywhere." IN enjoy her thrist three novels written itn eh late 18960s best, followed by The Cat Who Moved a Mountain. Lilian is a former Detroit Free Press editor that wrote sports poems (spoems) at the age of 17 well enough to get herself hired. Her "cozy" style mysteries include a composite of reporters she has known in James MackIntosh Qwilleran, and two Siamese Detectives - Koko and Yum Yum. They're cats.

The real Tittabawassee Road connects with Mackinaw Road from Bay City. Tittabawasee takes us right into a Barnes and Noble Book Store open late, with Internet Access and a Cafe. Shopping and movies are across the street. Good times!

Just up the road to the West is a State Park on the lake and a further series of beaches all along Lake Huron for miles. We've met many fiendly down-to-earth people there on the beaches just outside Bay City.

Farther up along the road is a wonderful cheese factory with discount prices and again - friendly people!

Independence Bridge ( photo)
Independence Bridge ( photo)

History of Bay City, Michigan.

Archeologists agree that early Native American nation lived along the coastline in the marshes of the Saginaw Bay as early as 3,000 BC. These nations enjoyed good hunting and fishing in the wetlands of Lake Huron, "The Sweet Sea."

By 1857, Bay City had grown up out of settlesments along the Sagnaw River. The river was too shallow for good shipping currents in Saginaw (the first white settlement in Michigan), so people moved to "Lower Sagniaw", which became Bay City about 10 miles away. The city becaome a boomtown for milling and logging industries and fortunes were made, evidenced in the mansions downtown across the river to the east.

In 1905, the city was recognized on both sides of the Saginaw River cutting through its middle to form sites of two current parks: Wenonah and Veterans memorial, including the famous Bay City Riverwalk.

Trivia: The 1980s group The Bay City Rollers chose their name by pinning a dart thrown onto Bay City, Michigan.


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      11 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      That's horrible, linsal54. Someone should report this to the city govt.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      i love Bay City. My farorite place to go is the riverwalk. Although last week when my boyfriend and i were there we were disappointed on how diry the walk was.You could not look up and walk because of the dog mess.I really hope the city can do somthing about this it takes away from the whole experience of the riverwalk and its beauty. Thank-You

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      12 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Hi Marianne - I like Bay City very much and am happy you do as well. Thanks for visiting here!

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      What serindipity to come across this site. We moved from Bay City due to family illness and the Michigan economy about 8 years ago. We lived up on Killarney Beach. I really did love the place, and I see many things have developed since we left. Thanks so much for this little piece of cheer!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      13 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Amazing! - I have friends in Bay City and go up there about 5 times a year.

      Piconning is very nice as well. I like to drive up the route that's close to Lake Huron and stop at the beaches and small towns. It's all beautiful. A nice cheese place is in Piconning. :)

    • crazybeanrider profile image

      Boo McCourt 

      13 years ago from Washington MI

      I live about 50 miles north of Bay City, You have described it in such a beautiful way. It definetly has all you wrote about and more. I love reading about the history of the smaller cities of Michigan. Bay City is the perfect little small town city. You can go there and explore the malls and shops, the museums, the libraries, the bookstores, food and entertainment all in one general area. Very nice hub, thumbs up!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      13 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I always feel that the skies are brighter and the wind fresher wehn I drive into Michigan. Upstate Michigan and the Upper Peninsula are beautiful beyond words as well. I hope to see much more of the state.

    • rmr profile image


      13 years ago from Livonia, MI

      I'm glad to see the beauty of Michigan being talked about. We've been getting a lot of bad press lately, but I wouldn't live anyplace else. Nice hub, as always!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      13 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thank you Prince Maak.

      I really like this city very much and travel there 4-6 times per year. I love to walk about 1/3 of the way down the Riverwalk to a cove where very tall cranes are actually standing in the trees and all other bird species are joined there, fishing in the water. Herons, swans, geese, ducks, gulls, an occasional hawk, many others.

    • Prince Maak profile image

      Prince Maak 

      13 years ago from Just Above the EARTH and below the SKY

      Very interesting Patty.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      13 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      Thanks for visiting, moonlake. Do youhave ore pictures and recipes for Wisconsin you can share on Hub Pages?

    • moonlake profile image


      13 years ago from America

      Enjoyed your site. Stop over and visit my hub when you get a chance.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      13 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I hope you do, Mort. I was surprised by all the things that go on and have gone ont here. And it's beautiful. The 20 or so miles on up to Piconning is great - beaches, cheese shops, historic sites.

    • MortimerWorth profile image


      13 years ago from Germany

      Well, I never knew.  Plus, you've given us Ghosts, Creatures, and Shipwrecks...I may have to visit one day.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile imageAUTHOR

      Patty Inglish MS 

      13 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      This is exciting that you might want to visit there. I like it very much, becuase i like the water and the smaller town size than Columbus OH. Frankenmuth is only 1/2 hour south of there and I like it very much as well.

    • profile image


      13 years ago

      Very interesting Patty. I must admit I've been living in Michigan since 1967 and have never visited Bay City. I see that I have missed quite a bit. I'll have to correct that, it looks like Bay City has a lot to offer. Thanks for opening my eyes to a new place to visit.


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