• History

    Our County

    Organized in 1857, Bay County was formed from portions of Arenac, Saginaw and Midland Counties. Blessed with an abundance of water resources, Bay County is located on the eastern shoreline of Michigan's lower peninsula, which borders the Saginaw Bay, an inlet of Lake Huron. Multiple streams and creeks, along with two main rivers, the Kawkawlin and Saginaw, run through the county. With 30 miles of shoreline, Bay County continues to have a steady stream of industry and pleasure-seekers alike ready to take advantage of all the area has to offer.

    Originally settled by the Sauk Indians around 1736, Bay County soon became home to fur traders and lumberjacks. By the late 1800's, Bay City's flourishing lumber trade quickly made the city a boomtown. With 50 active mills, it was known as the "Lumber Capitol of the World." Shipbuilding followed the lumber era, continuing industry along the Saginaw River. Today, many businesses and industries still operate along its banks.

    Once divided as two separate cities by the Saginaw River, Bay City celebrated its 100th anniversary as one city in 2005. Residents and tourists alike can appreciate how the county and city has changed and grown over the years.

    For more information on the Bay Area's history, please visit the Bay County Historical Society and Museum.