Editor Note: This is an excerpt of two reports that the Michigan DNR issued in 1977 and 2004. It offers a short history of the Saginaw Bay Fishery and the reasons for its collapse in the 1940s. The notes in the final part of this post reflect the situation on the Bay 15 years ago. … Read more
The times of greatest shipbuilding in the Great Lakes region was during the lumbering era. From 1839 until the early 1890s, the virgin old-growth Michigan forests were cut down to produce lumber for growing towns and cities in the lower Great Lakes. Michigan was the nation’s leading lumber producer from 1869 until about 1900. The only way to transport finished milled lumber from the shore side mills in the Great Lakes was by ship.