In the second half of the nineteenth century, Polish refugees who escaped Prussian domination settled in Bay City. In 1874 they formed a society under the patronage of St. Stanislaus Kostka of Poland. To fill the needs of this Polish-speaking community, a wooden church was built and dedicated on December 13, 1874, on a site donated by William D. Fitzhugh. During the pastorate of Father Marian Matkowski, this grand Neo-Gothic church was erected at a cost of over $60,000. Bay City architects Pratt and Koeppe provided the plans. The cornerstone was blessed in June 24, 1890, and the church was dedicated on July 17, 1892, by Bishop Henry J. Richter of Grand Rapids.