The mission of the Bay County Historical Society is to preserve the history of Bay
County and to develop facilities and programs dedicated to the enhancement, enrichment and enjoyment of our community.
MEMORY KEEPER: STORIES WITHIN The COLLECTION
By Jill Pfeiffer
Metal Press Plate: The image is of the former Martin Keit building on Seventh and Washington, Bay City. According
to the Bay City Times, the building was razed on July 23, 1935.
In 1856, Frederick Keit
came to Bay City from Germany at the age of 20 years old. He and his wife Margaret “Maggie”
raised their family in the area. At the turn of the 20th century,
the Keit family purchased land for a greenhouse on Euclid and several years later opened a flower shop. Frederick’s
son Martin grew up learning the gardening trade. He died in 1954, and his obituary contained
hints of the changing times: “For 20 years, Mr. Keit delivered celery and other produce to Saginaw stores and markets
with a horse and wagon. Later, he bought the first new truck in Bay City for carrying
produce.” Martin Keit operated a florist business out of the building shown on
the metal press plate. The image appeared in a Bay City Times article
“Old Landmark Razed” that ran on July 23, 1935. It claimed that Martin Keit
was the former occupant of the building and that he had moved his business to 609 Washington.
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The Butterfield Memorial
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