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Bay Port Has A Rich History

Bay Port & Ora Labora

Bay Port is located off of Wildfowl Bay, on the Westside of Michigan's Thumb.  In 1851, Carl Heisterman named the settlement Geneva, then it changed to Switzerland, then to Wildfowl Point, and finally when the post office at Ora Labora was moved to the shoreline the community was named Bay Port. Fishing was responsible for the village's birth.
The village then became known for its successful fisheries, it was rated as having the largest fresh water fisheries in the world. In 1880, Jesse Hoyt of New York began the Saginaw, Tuscola and Huron Railroad. W.L.Webber ran the rail company & brought tourists to Bay Port  from East Saginaw by the trainload in 1883 for rock hunting excursions at the Bay Port Quarry.  The quarry was purchased in 1900 by W.H. Wallace, George Morley, and A.H. Harvey. In 1886 built a 117 room first class hotel here, it had a casino, billiards, bowling, & electric lights. This grand hotel later became the Bay Port Club and survived until 1907 when it was torn down, due to the water receding at the lack of tourist's. Some of the Hotel's furniture still remains a bedroom set and sideboard owned by Marie Alexander and also some bedroom doors and staircase owned by Paul Baur. The stepping stone still remains on Cedar St and Second St..

Annually, the Bay Port Fish Sandwich Festival is held the first full weekend in August where thousands of fish sandwiches are sold.

Bay Port still remains a relaxing place to visit with a lot to offer such as boating, fishing, & hunting.


More Bay Port History


Commercial fishing slideshow




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Last update: 05/12/2009