Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lasting Memories Challenge My HomeTown Bay City, Michigan

Warning this is a long blog, grab a cup of coffee and get ready for a history lesson:)

It's been a trip down memory lane this week as I have worked on my layout for Lasting Memories. This week we want you to do a layout on your hometown! Some of us on the DT even struggled with this one - but it can be anything - a monument, memory, happening, news - get creative and have fun with this one.

I was born and raised in Bay City, Michigan. I decided that since this was about my school age years in regards to my hometown I wanted to take a "school report" approach to this layout.    I apologize for some of the pictures-the weather refused to cooperate.

Page 1

Page 2

Comment: I plan to add the address using stickers, but I left them off for privacy sake, my parents still live there-although the house and landscape have really changed.

Journal: I was born and raised in Bay City, Michigan. It's pretty easy to find it on the map. Look at the bottom of the thumb of Michigan (often referred to as the mitten). Bay City is on Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron.  The Saginaw River cuts through the town creating the East and West Sides of Bay City. I grew up on the West Side, actually it is Bangor Township, but the postal address says Bay City.

Journal: During the days of lumberjacks including the lore of Paul Bunyan falling and leaving his mitten covered hand print when he fell to create Michigan (the Great Lakes are his tears) , my great grandfather John Wallace owned and captained the Red, White and Blue during Paul's lumberjack days. He sailed the Great Lakes with Bay City as home port carrying furniture to stores and had a chained bear on the ship he used to keep the thieves at bay!

 Long journal on Page 1 was done with a hinge for two pages.

I have thought long and hard about what Bay City means to me. Is it the fact that while I was a teen the Bay City Rollers threw a dart on a map and landed on us to create their rock band name? Is it the fact that Madonna (Louise to me) was born in Bay City and for a short period went to school with me? Was it living through the GM layoffs and strikes because Dad worked for Saginaw Steering Geer?  Or the fact that we were the Sugar Beet Capital of the world? Pioneer Sugar had a factory near our home that smelled awful!

Well, I decided the Saginaw River probably is the best representative of my world. From the stories of the lumberjacks and my Great Grandfather John Wallace’s ship to the swing bridges and drawbridges of today, the Saginaw River and Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron have had a major impact on my life.
Growing up the river split Bay City into the West Side and East Side. We lived on the West Side. If you had an appointment on the East Side you had to plan an extra 45 minutes to get there, because a ship passed by every 20-30 minutes. It meant the drawbridge went up and you sat there. It was waiting for ships where I made up some of my best stories that I loved to write down later!
The two swing bridges in town were built in the late 1800’s.  On June 18, 1976 the unthinkable happened. A ship hit the Third Street bridge, which was a direct link for my family to the East Side. A few hours later as the bridge swung open for a ship, The swing part fell into the river. And in typical Bay City fashion-the community argued on how to replace it, taking almost 20 years to replace it.
The Belinda Street Swing Bridge was built in 1893. The Independence Drawbridge was built to replace it in 1973. My friends Bill Schneider, Marv Griffin, Tammy Bayliss and I were the last people to cross the Belinda Street Bridge before it became stuck on the open swing and was torn down at a later date. I was actually the very last person to cross it while walking my bike. It was made of wood and steel and the gaps made it too difficult to ride the bikes, so we walked them.
The Saginaw Bay became influential because of its pollution. When I was very little we used to go to Bay City State Park and go swimming.  We also went ice fishing on it. Then in the early 70’s it became so polluted it was shut down. As a result in Junior High School I became involved with conservation issues.
Water Conservation later became a passion for me when I was teaching at Model Elementary in Goshen Indiana. I developed my curriculum around the Elkhart River.  As a result my students were featured in True Book’s Water Pollution and I won the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching-the highest honor possible in teaching. What was truly remarkable about this was the fact I was a special education teacher for children with emotional and behavioral problems!

Cardstock: Bazzill Beach House
Glitter Alphbet:American Craft Thickers
Wood Veener Embellishments: Studio Calcio
Hinge: Stash

This You Tube video is a ballad that was written about the Third Street Bridge falling in after a ship hit it.

George Heritier, singer/songwriter, performs his Ballad of The Third Street Bridge at The Rust Belt Market in Ferndale, MI, June, 2011. Video by Tom Shea. Music and Lyrics copyright, George Heritier.

Hope you enjoyed taking a peek into my hometown. Be sure to leave a comment I have a gift certificate I am giving out for a2z Scrapbooking. I will be using random organizer on Tuesday to choose a winner. Be sure to leave me a way to contact you.

I can't wait to see your hometown at Lasting Memories!

Have a wonderful day!


  1. Elizabeth I think this is my fave layout of yours ever!!!!! Amazing job and love all of that journaling!!!!

  2. Oh gosh! I so enjoyed reading all about your hometown. Learned so much. Can't believe that it took 20 years for them to replace the bridge after that ship hit it. And... I remember about you going to school with Madonna... and then your presidential award... go Elizabeth!! Fun info. here!! Your choices of Red, white and Blue papers are perfect for all of your different photos and tidbits. This was fun Elizabeth!! :)

  3. Wow Elizabeth you really rocked this challenge out. I like the way you did the "school report" idea. Love the pictures and great information.

  4. This is truly a fantastic LO! Love all the journaling!

  5. Great record of your hometown and I loved the history lesson! I hadn't heard the story of Michigan being Paul Bunyan's mitten. I like those little wooden boats!

  6. Omg... This is amazing... Definitely one of the best I have seen in ages! Fantastic! I love it! And all those stories you shared through you're journalling are really awesome! You had me hanging onto every word!!!
    Love it!!! Toni... :)

  7. What a neat idea for a layout! I don't scrapbook nearly enough about myself, but I love the idea of this layout!

  8. Wow Elizabeth!! You really gave us a peek into your hometown and I really enjoyed your post and video. Great LO's but most important, thank you for taking us for a little verbal trip to your hometown. Thanks for sharing with us.

  9. I have a special love of Michagan. It's my dad's home state before he went into the military. My grandfather lived in Inkster MI just outside of Detroit and My uncle currently lives on in Cadillac


Thank you so much for taking the time to visit and leave a comment! I appreciate all of my wonderful readers! Elizabeth