What Bert Has To Say About Bay City Metro Area
Bay City, part of the tri-city area including Saginaw and Midland generally located on the Saginaw Bay, which forms the “thumb” of Michigan’s “hand.” Bay City is a natural Great Lakes port and center for shipping, and has a vast industrial presence including GM, Dow Chemical, Dow Corning, and a number of smaller chemical, forest products and other basic industries, drawn by transportation, timber, and local brine deposits. The landscape nearby and especially toward Saginaw Bay is pretty industrial, but early industrial history and prosperity brought a then-attractive and now historic downtown and waterfront which is well preserved today and sits upstream from the industrial areas.
The city has three historic districts and several museums and attractions related to its history, and won a “Great American Main Street” award in 1999 from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The area has a strong sense of community. Areas outside the city and especially north are well known for outdoor recreation, both on land and water. Midland to the west is just outside the metro area but adds to the employment and cultural base with headquarters for Dow Chemical and Dow Corning. Cost of living is very low.
The Saginaw River meanders gently through Bay City then flows two miles into Saginaw Bay through a primarily industrial area. The terrain is mainly level to gently rolling with a mix of agriculture and dense forests. The continental climate is heavily influenced by the Great Lakes. Summers are humid but moderate in temperature, seldom reaching 100 degrees. Winters are cold with frequent snow and rain/snow mixes. Cold air from the north and west are moderated somewhat by lake influences. However, lake moisture produces significant snows and snow cover is prevalent through winter. Most precipitation occurs in late spring, summer, and early fall. The lake effect generates clouds year-round making the area one of the cloudiest places in the nation. First freeze is early October, last is early May.