Saginaw is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the seat of Saginaw County. The city of Saginaw was once a thriving lumber town and manufacturing center. Saginaw and Saginaw County lie in the Flint/Tri-Cities region of Michigan. It is located adjacent to Saginaw Charter Township and considered part of the Tri-Cities area, along with Bay City and Midland.
The site of what is presently the city of Saginaw was originally inhabited by Native Americans. The Sauk lived in the area and were driven from the area by Ojibwe (Chippewa). The name Saginaw is believed to mean "where the Sauk were" in the Ojibwe language. French missionaries and traders first appeared in the area during the late 17th century. The first permanent settlement by those other than Native Americans was in 1815 when Louis Campau established a trading post on the west bank of the Saginaw River. Shortly thereafter the United States established Fort Saginaw.
During Michigan's territorial period, a county and township government were organized at Saginaw. Growth of the settlement was fueled rapidly during the 19th century by the lumber industry. Saginaw was the site of numerous sawmills and served as a port for Great Lakes vessels. What is now the city of Saginaw resulted from the consolidation of the cities of East Saginaw and Saginaw City (West Side) in 1889.