Started from seeds and soil, now we’re here…
A Voyage Across the Atlantic
Wilhelm Loehe and August Craemer, German pastors commissioned by Frederick Wyneken, led a group of fifteen people, most of which were farmers, from Neuendettelsau and Rosstal to Midwest Saginaw Valley for the founding of a new colony. After 50 days of sailing, a steamboat train ride, another sailing trip, and a 15-mile ship pull, the emigrants made it. In doing so, they examined the land and purchased 680 acres of Chippewa Indian Reservation land from the federal government for $1,700.00, amounting to an amount of nearly $52,000 with current day inflation.
A Story To Be Told
One of the newfound colonists' first innovative processes was to clear forest areas and build farms. From there, the settlements that grew as farms replaced the pine forests. Immigration continued throughout the end of the 19th century as friends and relatives of the settlers joined them in Michigan. Many were craftsmen and businessmen who continued their same trades here. Frankenmuth then established a reputation for its flour, saw, and woolen mills. They also produced beer, cheese, and sausage. A half-dozen hotels served travelers. Agriculture and self-sustaining businesses were born, and history is a story still being written for Frankenmuth.
A Farm Town To Be Experienced
To this day, Star of the West Milling Co., a company in the making of over 150 operating years, is the 11th largest flour miller in the United States. They produce the flour that makes it into some of your favorite cereals. The significance of farming is still highly significant in Michigan’s Little Bavaria, and can be seen through our farm fresh eats, farmers markets, and a number of historic working farms. The Frankenmuth Woolen Mill, founded in 1894 and still operating today, is Michigan's oldest woolen mill. The company has been and continues to process wool from local farm flocks to warm, wool bedding and more. It is now an 125-year-old tradition!
If you visit Frankenmuth from the south, you’re greeted by the Palmer Frankenmuth Gateway Arch. Just around the corner, stands a big blue barn known as Grandpa Tiny’s Farm. Operating since 1938, the farm is host to not only a friendly share of animals like chickens, goats, and even reindeer, but also seasonal events. Guests can enjoy Flower Festival in the summer, a pumpkin patch and donuts in the fall, and Santa’s workshop and reindeers in the winter.
While we love a fun day on the farm, we also love the taste of a farm-to-table dining experience. Honey B’s Eatery and Michigan on Main serve farm-to-table on a yearly-basis, sourcing many of their ingredients from local farmers. Farm-to-table eats are such a treat! Drive through the parking lot at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth or Bavarian Inn Restaurant after harvest time, and you’ll know just what we mean. By late September, you’ll see over 100 tons of Blue Hubbard Squash piled high to serve as a seasonal vegetable during their family-style dinners, or baked into delicious pies.
And finally, the place where all farmers, merchants, and artisans all come together can be found at the north end of Frankenmuth in a golden barn known as the Frankenmuth Farmers Market. Since 2005, the Market has been the leader in connecting the community with fresh food and promoting the importance of our rural heritage. Their outdoor pavilion is host to farmers markets and fun events May through October on various days of the week and weekend.
There is heart, passion, heritage, history, and courage within the hearts of all local Frankenmuth-ers. See for yourself, plan a trip today to fall in love with farm fresh, small-town Frankenmuth!