Midland Street Commercial District
The Midland Street Commercial District comprises fifty buildings in a four block area that was the business hub of West Bay City. Prior to 1830 the area was occupied by Sauk and Chippewa Indians. In response to depleted eastern timberlands resulting from western expansion, New York lumberman Henry Sage and his partner Henry McGraw built a sawmill on the west bank of the Saginaw River in 1863. Wenona, the town that developed around the mill, was incorporated as Bay City in 1877. By 1867 plank roads were built, telegraph lines were installed. the Third Street Bridge was erected, and Wenona had become a terminus for both passenger and freight railroads. Midland Street soon housed the offices of many industries including salt, lumber, fishing and shipbuilding.