the making of Frankenmuth significant dates in history
1845... Frankenmuth settled.
1854... Frankenmuth township created. 1856... Exchange Hotel built (today Zehnder's Restaurant)
1862... Cass River/Geyer's Brewery built.
1868... Local German mutual aid insurance organization created, later developed into today's Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance Company.
1874... Star of the West Milling Company formed joining hundreds of flour mills across rural 19th century Michigan. Today, Star of the West is just one of a handful of mills operating in 20th Century Michigan.
1880 - 1900... Fischer Hotel (later Bavarian Inn), Kerns Commercial House, Stahl's Eagle Hotel, Goetz Hotel, and Hotel List built.
1899... Mrs. Kern (Commercial House) served "all you can eat" chicken to a bridal party from Saginaw.
1899... Frankenmuth Brewing Company founded. Later became Carling Brewing Company, Carling-National, and G. Heileman Brewing Company.
1901... State decrees separation of local tax support from St. Lorenz Lutheran School.
1904... Village of Frankenmuth Incorporated.
1927... Zehnder's purchased Exchange Hotel.
1945... Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland founded.
1950's... I-75 constructed, providing easy access to the area. A dike was built along the bank of the Cass River, controlled annual floods allowing expansion of the downtown area.
1957... Rupprecht's Sausage was the first building built in the "Alpine-style" architecture. The building was built in 1948. It is now Willi's Sausage.
1958/59... Zehnder family redecorated the Fischer Hotel in the "Alpine-style" architecture, renaming it the Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn.
1959... City of Frankenmuth incorporated.
1959... Bavarian Inn Grand Opening (later developed into annual Bavarian Festival.)
1960 & current... More buildings adopt Alpine-style architecture.
1962... Frankenmuth became third city in America to join the People-to-People program. Frankenmuth chose Gunzenhausen, Germany, as Sister City.
1963... Civic Events Council formed to organize and manage Bavarian Festival.
1969... Location of Bavarian Festival moved to Heritage Park.
1970's... Bavarian Mall opened on north end of Frankenmuth spurring continued development of north end of town.
1976... Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland built new building on south end of Frankenmuth spurring development of south end of town.
1977... Marv Herzog and Harold Mitas organized the first Summer Polka Fest.
1977... A Main Street Historic District was formed to encourage preservation of existing architecture and use of "Bavarian" architecture in new construction.
1980... Frankenmuth Holz Brücke (covered bridge) constructed. Largest covered bridge built in America in 75 years.
1980-81... Old St. Lorenz School/Frankenmuth Middle School converted to School Haus Square shopping mall.
1982... Nickless-Hubinger Flour Mill opened third Flour Mill on that site.
1982... Zehnder's Restaurant opened their newly expanded bakery area.
1982... Edelweiss addition to Bavarian Inn Restaurant.
1982... Horse Carriage Tours established in Frankenmuth.
1984... Zehnder's of Frankenmuth purchased Frankenmuth Golf & Country Club.
1986... Bavarian Inn Lodge opened phase one (100 rooms.)
1987... Twenty five years of Sister City visits and programs celebrated.
1987... Roof Garten Lounge and Doll & Toy Factory addition to Bavarian Inn Restaurant.
1987... Geyer Brothers Brewery purchased, remodeled and opened as Frankenmuth Brewery.
1988... Zehnder's of Frankenmuth purchased Bavarian Haus Motel.
1989... Bavarian Inn Lodge opened phase two (98 additional rooms.)
1989... Frankenmuth Riverboat Tours opened.
1990... Frankenmuth Agricultural Park opened (Frankenmuth Cheese Manufacturing Company, Frankenmuth Pretzel Company, and Gepetto's Restaurant.)
1990... G. Heileman Brewery closed.
1990... Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce hosted First Annual Oktoberfest.
1991... Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland opened new expansion (total building space now 201,243 square feet.)
1992... Fortress Golf Course opened.
1992... Zehnder's of Frankenmuth hosted first annual Zehnder's Snowfest.
1992... Frankenmuth/Gunzenhausen celebrate 30 years of Sister City visits and programs.
1992... Zehnder's Bavarian Haus Motel addition complete (indoor pool, courtyard, a total of 137 rooms.)
1993... Bavarian Festival celebrates 35th Anniversary.
1994... Maypole Structure installed at Chamber of Commerce Building.
1994... Herbert L. Keinath Memorial Fountain Schulpture Enhancement Project completed and dedicated.
1995... Frankenmuth celebrated its Sesquicentennial (150th Anniversary) throughout the year.
1995... Bavarian Inn Lodge opened Phase three (156 additional rooms).
1995... Drury Inn opened creating the fourth hotel property in Frankenmuth.
1995... The Frankenmuth Women's Club constructed the Veteran's Memorial in Willkommen Park.
1995... The Frankenmuth Historical Museum undertook a complete renovation of its exhibits creating a more firsthand experience of Frankenmuth's beginnings.
1996... June 21 at 11:10pm a tornado hits Frankenmuth. 10 homes are destroyed, many others damaged as well as many businesses. No loss of life was sustained
1997... First Annual Clam & Lobster Fest.
1998... Frankenmuth 2000 begins construction.
1998... The Rummelplatz opens its facility.
1998... Bavarian Inn Lodge adds $3 million dollar meeting & convention area.
1998... Frankenmuth Mutual Insurance Company purchases St John's Church, properties, and the Geyer house.
1999... Fairfield Inn by Marriot opens bringing the fifth hotel property to Frankenmuth.
1999... First Oktoberfest Parade.
1999... Covenant Health Care constructs new medical facility.
1999... Frankenmuth Credit Union constructs new facility.
1999... Frankenmuth Clock Company constructs new facility patterned after a Bavaria, Germany building.
2000... Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland expansion of their shipping department.
2000... Removal of the G. Heileman Brewing Company for the Phase 1 of the Frankenmuth River Place.
2001... River Place opens July 2001.
2001... Ground breaking for the SpringHill Suites.
2001...Michigans' Own Military and Space Museum adds additional exhibit space.
2001...Frankenmuth School District buildings begin capital improvement process.
2002...Bronner's CHRISTmas Wonderland Expansion.
2002...Completion of the Frankenmuth 2000 Hospitality Plan.
2002...SpringHill Suites by Marriott opens bringing a sixth hotel property to Frankenmuth.
2002...Grandpa Tiny's Farm relocates Dehmel Road bridge to property.
2003...Sullivan's Black Forest Brau Keller opens.
2003...Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce remodels public restroom facilities.
2003...Frankenmuth Historical Association dedicates Norine Kern town clock.