Tag Archives: Caseville

The little city in the thumb that calls it self the perch capital of the world

Bay Port’s Fish Sandwich Festival

Michigan’s Upper Thumb Festival Season Starts in Bayport

Bay Port, Michigan – As late summer rolls around the days get a bit shorter and the evenings around the campfire can have a bit of chill in the air. It’s also festival season! If you’re in the Upper Thumb the first weekend in August, head to Bay Port. The Bay Port Fish Sandwich Festival is the granddaddy of them all. Since 1978 folks come in and lined up for a fish sandwich that “takes two hands to hold one.” At $4.00 it’s a deal. It’s a family friendly event but its proximity to the historic Bay Port Inn make thoughts of having a “short one” prior to hitting the craft booths not uncommon.


Bay Port Craft Show
Craft and vendor booths are fun to browse

Events start on Friday, August 3rd at noon with sandwiches and a large continuous craft show, the crowning of the festival’s king, queen, prince and princess and fireworks on Friday evening at dusk.

Saturday’s events start with a 5K walk/run then the festival’s parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. Craft booths and fish sandwiches are sold throughout the day. 

The festival concludes on Sunday at noon with a fish eating contest. 

A Bite of Bay Port Fish Sandwich History

Bay Port Fish Sandwich Festival
Even the King makes sandwiches

The Engelhard’s family started the community’s Fish Sandwich Festival. In 1949 Henry and Edna began selling the famous fish sandwich. By 1953, the Engelhard’s erected a stand on the front lawn of their home, with a sign that touted Bay Port’s Original Fresh Boneless Fried Fish Sandwich.

The first Fish Sandwich Festival was held in 1978, and just like Caseville’s 1st Rib stock held years later, they quickly sold out. Today the annual number of visitors averages over 10,000. Back in the late 1940’s folks told them they were crazy, but the Bay Port fishery certainly captivated them and, after all, the Bay Port slogan is “Fish caught the Man.”

Bay Port Fish Sandwich Festival
Live Entertainment All Weekend

The fish sandwich is the prime attraction. The original sandwich is local caught freshwater Mullet is dipped in a secret batter, fried crisp, and served on a long bun with ketchup and mustard. Although not traditional, tartar sauce is also available. According to Henry, the fish should overlap the bun and  the sandwich should be so large “it takes two hands to hold it.” All day, the lines in front of the sandwich stand are long. It is not unusual to sell 12,500 sandwiches to people from as far away as Florida and the northeast.

Bay Port Michigan Fish Sandwich Festival
The lines move quickly

Henry was the festival’s primary inspiration, energy, supporter, and promoter. He wrote many stories regaling the fish sandwiches’ power to please and to heal. Through his efforts, the festival has been featured on NBC’s Today Show, ABCs 20/20, and in many national magazines and newspapers. In recognition of their contribution to the Fish Sandwich Festival, Henry and Edna (she died in 1992) were honored as “Mr. and Mrs. Bay Port.”



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Trihalomethane Found in Caseville’s Water System

Updated April 2, 9:15 am.

Online reports from WNEM and other news outlets have reported that recent tests of Caseville, Michigan’s water supply showed excessive levels of Trihalomethine. Trihalomethanes are formed as a by-product when chlorine is used to disinfect drinking water. Trihalomethanes forced the first water safety regulations to be issued after passage of the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974.

Chemical Byproduct in Water System Seen in 2016 Testing

Caseville said they are seeing 2017 average test results at of Trihalomethine at 88 parts per billion.  Caseville’s 2016 Water Report showed measurements of Trihalomethine ranging from 40 to 100 parts per billion.  Four tests were conducted in 2016 with an overall average at 74 parts per billion. The safe standard is 80 parts per billion.

We spoke with Troy Hartz, Superintendent of the Caseville Water Plant. Caseville’s water supply comes from Saginaw Bay. He noted that the measurements in August have the highest level of Trihalomethine due to the warmer water from the lake. Hartz noted that the Michigan DEQ informed him that there are other Michigan water systems who draw surface water from lakes who are also experiencing the high Trihalomthine measurements during August testing. 

Steps Being Taken 

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has been brought in to the Caseville Water Plant to determine the best way to address the problem and comply with the water safety standard. Hartz indicated that adjustments may be made of the amount of chlorine applied at Caseville’s pumping station to address the concern.  

Caseville has not asked residents to seek other water sources but have asked residents with heath concerns to consult with their doctor.

Long term exposure to high levels Trihalomethanes can lead to kidney or liver damage and an increased risk for cancer.


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Caseville Beach – It All Happens Here

A Mini Daytona Beach of the North

Over the years I’ve encountered numerous folks from Southeast Michigan who have fond memories of heading to the beach in Caseville. The park’s waterfront offers a large sandy expanse with plenty of room to build sandcastles, play touch football, rent kayaks and swim the day away. Its proximity to the large campground and short distance to town means it’s frequented by many visitors. It’s one of the most Instagrammed and Facebook Selfie spots around.

Caseville-beach-crowd


Vista of Fun, See and Be Seen

While you can’t drive on the beach you can park close enough to get a great view of sunsets or the fireworks shot off the Caseville breakwater pier on July 4th. During the annual Cheeseburger festival key events such as the cardboard canoe race and the sand sculpture draw large crowds. If you’re hungry there is a lunch stand that offers some of the best French fries around.

Caseville-Beach-Shop


A Beach Close to Everything

The beach is only a portion of this large city-side park. Caseville County Park sits on 40 acres, it hosts a large full service campground with large portions of it covered with a tree canopy. Many campers bring their boat along as launch ramps are available at the nearby marina, as is fishing off the Caseville Pier. The park also features pavilion rentals and offers a few prime beachfront sites. The park also has an open air theater which provides live entertainment during Ribstock BBQ competition in June and Caseville Cheeseburger festival in August. Once here you can reach all attractions by foot or bike as the city has sidewalks throughout.


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Mystery of Caseville Mercantile Co.

It was only a single black and white image. Found at the Caseville Historical Museum it’s faded and somewhat over developed but it clearly shows the name; Caseville Mercantile. The problem is that there is no mention of this store in the typical public records.  We are still trying to identify if the building exists today.

Caseville Mercantile

Since our online store ThumWind-Mercantile also uses a similar name we are intrigued. If any of our readers have more information. Let us know.


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