Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Frankenmuth, Michigan

Wilkommen. In German it means welcome. Welcome to Frankenmuth, Michigan's little Bavaria.
Peggy and I started our tour at the Visitor Center, where we got maps and information, as well as a discount coupon book...which we made use of when we remembered.
 The town is beautiful with Bavarian style architecture and flowers everywhere.
 Maypole Fountain outside the Visitor Center.
The town history dates back to 1845, but the Bavarian tourist attraction is more recent and began here at the Bavarian Inn in the 1950s. The glockenspiel chimes four times a day, but we managed to miss it.

 The town is situated along the Cass River, and there are two boat tours available: a paddlewheel seen here, and a smaller electric powered boat. 
River Place is a shopping center arranged like an authentic Bavarian village. Lots of cute little touristy shops.
 Our first stop was back at the Bavarian Inn's bakery. Loved the door handles.
 Hard to choose from all the pastries on display.
 We shared a mini "Guten Morgen" with coffee. It was yummy. 
 Peggy bought some cherry strudel for our dinner later.
 We could have rolled our own pretzel here, but didn't have time to come back to do it.
 Another fountain with Bavarian dancers.
 Stork's nest sculpture atop the Bavarian Inn Restaurant.
 A little more about the first settlers.
 Frankenmuth is famous for its chicken dinners. 
 Castle motif.
 Plaza outside the Visitor Center.
 Kaleidoscope sculpture. You twirl the flowers as you look.
And this is what you see.
The museum is well worth the admission price...and we had a two for one coupon!
 It was here that we got a real sense of the original Frankenmuth. Dioramas depicted the immigration and beginnings of the community. Audio presentations told the story.
 There were lots of hands on exhibits.
Frankenmuth was established as a missionary community, to bring the Gospel to the Chippewa Indians.

 Forests had to be cleared to create farmland.
 Peggy liked the hands-on stuff.

 They established their own schools.
 Holiday traditions.
Back to our tour. we could come back later this month for the worm composting class...
 Some stores were dog-friendly.
 More architecture.
 We decided on the Fun-ship, electric boat tour.
 The boat dock. There were just four of us on our tour.
 The Cass River is very calm, and pretty shallow.
 Looking toward the covered bridge. The tour goes under it and turns around because of the dam downriver. Most of the tour is the other way.

 Star of the West Mill processes wheat and corn for cereal manufacturers.
The Bavarian Inn was the first building to be renovated in the Bavarian style architecture.
 The herbal remedy store had some interesting selections.
 Back to the Bavarian Inn Restaurant for lunch. Peggy tried some German beer.
And we both had a variety of wurst. Enough for more than 1 meal.
After lunch we visited St. Lorenz Lutheran Church, established at the same time as the community in 1845.
About the church...

Inside the church, looking toward the pulpit.
Dome with dove representing the Holy Spirit. 
 The Word of God has been preached from this pulpit since Abraham Lincoln was president.
 Looking toward the the balcony a 2,803 pipe organ.
Beautiful stained glass windows tell the history of the church in vivid detail.
The first settlers of Frankenmuth traveled aboard an immigrant train as they journeyed from the east coast to Michigan.
 After hearing God's Word, Chippewa Chief Bemassikeh asked Rev. Craemer and the early settlers to "Teach my people the truth."
 On the upper left you see two bells that adorned the first log cabin church. The original bells and a replica of the log cabin are across the street from the church.
The early settlers used canoes to travel to neighboring communities along the river.
The original church bells and replica of the first log cabin that served as church, parish, and school. The St. Lorenz Lutheran School, established in 1846 continues today with more than 500 students.
The sign asked you not to ring the bells during worship service. There was no service today. The bells are loud, just sayin'.
No time to see it all...there's a whole Christmas Wonderland...the world's largest Christmas store the size of 1 1/2 football fields we didn't have time to see, as well as many other attractions. Well worth the visit, and maybe a second visit.

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