Thursday, July 19, 2012
Wednesday my sister-in-law Mary Jo had a scheduled procedure at a hospital in downtown Saginaw. While she was recovering after that procedure John and I, as well as Wayne my brother, decided to tour the downtown area. It was quite a trip down memory lane for Wayne who had worked at a bank in Saginaw for 30 years in Saginaw. Wednesday was his natal day, so it seemed a great way for him to spend his birthday and he was eager to show the town to us. Saginaw has changed much over the past 100 years, and even in the past 15 years or so since Wayne retired. The town, as Flint, was once a busy lumber center. Once the pine forests were depleted Saginaw moved into an economy dependent on agricultural crops as beans and sugar beets. My mother grew up in such an agricultural community. When she became a young adult she worked in Saginaw at the Lufkin Rule Company (now gone as well as the bank where my brother worked). So it was also a fascinating tour of the downtown area for me as it brought back recollections of my mom's stories of her life in Saginaw. A lot of the downtown buildings of the past are now gone. However, Saginaw has held unto two of her gems. One such building is the Hoyt Library. A business man who had lumber and real estate interests in the Saginaw Valley, Jesse Hoyt, funded the building which was erected in 1890 in the Romanesque style. It had additions built onto it in 1921 and 1960 and still serves as a library today. We went into the library and I felt like I was back at our downtown library in St.Louis, which also is an older building with a similar interior.