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Community Overview

The Bay Area is a unique, family-centered Great Lakes community offering a mix of natural beauty with progressive development and unending opportunities for culture, recreation and education. A location near the Kawkawlin and Saginaw Rivers has established the Bay Area as a fine place for businesses and industries, as well as residents and visitors who enjoy year-round outdoor diversions and a scenic backdrop while shopping and dining.

While the area is filled with an array of modern conveniences, it still embraces a vibrant heritage that spans well over a century. Until the late 17th century, the Sauk Indians inhabited the current-day Bay Area and the encompassing Saginaw River Valley. The Sauks were ultimately wiped out as a result of warring and the area began drawing more European settlers.

Bay County was formally created in 1857, and by 1860, was home to approximately 2,000 people. The county seat was designated at Bay City (initially known as “Lower Saginaw”), which was officially incorporated as a city in 1865. The industries of lumbering, milling and shipbuilding led the economy, with 50 active lumber mills operating in the Bay Area by the late 1800s. This strong presence led to the area’s recognition as “Lumber Capitol of the World.”

Since then, the Bay Area has evolved into a truly well-rounded community, transforming itself from a small industrial town into an extraordinary city recognized for its beautiful waterfront location, culture, education and friendly people. The storied history of the Bay Area has been preserved, interpreted and exhibited by the Bay County Historical Society and lives on today in many historical sites and museums.

Whether one is looking to relocate a family or business, or is in search of a wonderful weekend getaway, the Bay Area has something for everyone. Come and discover for yourself all of the ingredients that have set this Michigan community apart from the rest.

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