- Saginaw followed the classic development pattern seen in Mich to a tee. Started as a fur trading post on a river, then in the 19th century became an important lumber center, and in the 20th century fell into the industrial mold.
- the city was devastated by the decline of the auto industry when GM closed the steering plant and they experienced a population decline.
- the city still pins its future hopes on the auto industry
- the downtown is utilitarian and does not possess any great wealth of interesting buildings or architecture.
- located in the heart of the Saginaw valley where two of the states biggest crops (sugar beets and soybeans) are grown
- located in close proximity to an important tourist town (Frankenmuth)
- the demographic patterns are pretty much what you'd expect with a typical Rust Bowl town (Great Northern migration, wartime boom, minority population remains clustered in decimated city center, etc)
I think Michigan needs two representative cities: one for the UP and one for the LP