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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Bay City in Bay County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

"Ten Hours or No Sawdust"

 
 
"Ten Hours or No Sawdust" Marker - Side 1 image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., July 16, 2010
1. "Ten Hours or No Sawdust" Marker - Side 1
Inscription.  Side 1
When Bay City's sawmills opened in 1885, mill owners notified workers that wages would be 12 to 25 percent lower than in 1884. On July 6, 1885, Bay City millhands began to walk off the job. Their slogan, "Ten Hours or No Sawdust," represented their demand for a ten-hour workday, higher wages and semimonthly pay. On July 9, 1885, D.C. Blinn, editor of Bay City's Labor Vindicator and a member of the Knights of Labor, held a rally at Bay City's Madison Park. After the rally, millhands left by barge for Saginaw, where they closed the mills the next day. The demands of the millhands were rejected, and the sporadic violence that followed led the mayors of Bay City and Saginaw to seek help from the state militia and private detectives.

Side 2
On July 14, 1885, Governor Russell A. Alger, a wealthy lumberman, came to Bay City to attempt to resolve the strike that had closed Bay City and Saginaw mills. From the steps of the Frazer Hotel, across the street from this site, he spoke to a crowd of millhands, warning against further violence. On July 29, Terence V. Powderly, Grand Master of the Knights of Labor,
"Ten Hours or No Sawdust" Marker - Side 2 image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., July 16, 2010
2. "Ten Hours or No Sawdust" Marker - Side 2
came to the valley. He urged the millhands to return to work with a ten-hour day and reduced wages. Nevertheless, the strike continued for several weeks, with support from the people of Bay City. The mill owners, however, remained intransigent, and by late September the strikers were defeated. The ten-hour workday went into effect on September 15, 1885, by an act of the state legislature, but wages remained low.
 
Erected 1987 by Bureau of History, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number L1413.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Labor Unions. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Historical Commission series list.
 
Location. 43° 35.886′ N, 83° 53.458′ W. Marker is in Bay City, Michigan, in Bay County. The marker has been relocated to a new location and now stands well within Wenonah Park and is not easily visible from the roads bordering the park. The marker now stands against the back wall to the recently added Wenonah Park Pavilion and Service Building. Because of its new location, only one side of the marker is now visible. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Bay City MI 48708, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Keit's Florist (approx. 0.2 miles away); Cross Country Connections (approx. 0.3 miles away); Abraham Lincoln
New location of the "Ten Hours or No Sawdust" Marker. image. Click for full size.
By John Garman, July 25, 2020
3. New location of the "Ten Hours or No Sawdust" Marker.
Only one side of the marker is now visible after it was relocated and installed against the back wall of the Service Building adjacent to the new Wenonah Park Pavilion.
(approx. 0.3 miles away); Center Avenue (approx. 0.3 miles away); George H. & Elva Shearer House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Midland Street Commercial District (approx. 0.4 miles away); First Presbyterian Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Sion Church (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bay City.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
 
Additional comments.
1. New Location for the Historical Marker
Wenonah Park has undergone massive renovations and new construction over the past three years. Additionally, the roads bordering the park have also been upgraded and improved. As a result, the two Michigan Historical Markers that originally resided within the park have been removed. The first marker, titled "Bay City" (Marker ID#:S0043) has been removed and not reinstalled. The second marker, titled "Ten Hours or No Sawdust" (Marker ID#:L1413C) was removed from its original location on North Water Street, just south of Center Avenue. After construction completed on the new Wenonah Park Pavilion and the Service
Former location of the "Ten Hours or No Sawdust" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., July 16, 2010
4. Former location of the "Ten Hours or No Sawdust" Marker
View of marker looking north along North Water Street toward Wenonah Park entrance (on the left) (former location).
Building (public restrooms, small food stand) adjacent to the pavilion, the marker was reinstalled. It now stands against the back wall of the Service Building. Only one side of the marker is now visible.
    — Submitted December 13, 2020, by John Garman of Rochester Hills.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 13, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 28, 2010, by John Garman of Rochester Hills. This page has been viewed 1,159 times since then and 3 times this year. Last updated on December 13, 2020, by John Garman of Rochester Hills. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 28, 2010, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.   3. submitted on December 13, 2020, by John Garman of Rochester Hills.   4. submitted on July 28, 2010, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Determine from local sources whether the marker will be relocated again to allow viewing of both sides of marker. • Can you help?
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Feb. 28, 2021