Most movie fans know of the name “Skull Island” – the isolated hunk of land out in the middle of an unknown sea that happened to be the home of dinosaurs and King Kong. But there is a little piece of land here in Michigan that bears that same name.

This ‘Skull Island’ happens to be more of a peninsula that juts out into the Saginaw River in the south end of Bay City. In fact, it doesn’t even look like a skull…it looks more like a foot. So why the name “Skull Island”?

In a brief nutshell, and according to, the majority of the Sauk tribe was massacred by other tribes who merged and sought to eliminate the Sauks. While the Sauks were located in a few places along the Saginaw River, the massacre that took place on the river’s east side is the one that has been referred to over the years as “The Battle of Skull Island”. Mounds that were discovered on this little piece of land were filled with bones and skulls of the massacred Sauks. Many of the severed heads had been skinned and the hair removed. The skulls were so numerous, that that this land was given its present name.

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Over the last few hundred years, it’s been said that the spirits of the killed Sauks haunt the grounds…this supposedly comes from the fact that the few Sauks who survived the massacre hid on the island and proceeded to kill others who were hunting them. The rumor spread that it was the spirits of the dead who were taking revenge and doing the killing. The former battleground which is now called ‘Skull Island’ is on the southern tip of Bay City, and you can read much, much more detail about it here.

The island includes the abandoned alkali factory, frequently visited by many curious visitors armed with spray paint. Just about every inch of the factory ruins is covered in graffiti.

The old factory was an offspring of the North American Chemical Company, who shut the plant down in 1928…and it’s been sitting there deserted ever since. As far as we know there may not be any 'No Trespassing' signs up, but for legal purposes, we have to post this warning anyway: WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

That being stated, the gallery below shows images of the ruins and other places around Skull Island…

Skull Island and the Ruins of the Alkali Plant, Bay City


Abandoned Church, Mooreville

Abandoned Grandmother's House

Abandoned Crow Schoolhouse, Allegan County




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