Beet Sugar Industry
The first successful beet sugar factory in Michigan was built in 1898 by the Michigan Sugar Company on Woodside Avenue in Essexville. A year later the Bay City Sugar Company built a competing factory across the street. The two plants merged in 1903 with the original plant closing down shortly thereafter. The name of the merged company was Bay City-Michigan Sugar Company which was then shortened to Michigan Sugar Company. It operated continuously until 1929 and closed permanently in 1933. The company's early success sparked the construction of many other beet sugar plants. All were part of the drive which has made beet sugar vital to Michigan's economy. The present Monitor Sugar factory in the only beet sugar plant still in operation in Bay County.