Aerial view of Frankenmuth city in Michigan. Editorial credit: SNEHIT PHOTO /

Frankenmuth, Michigan

Frankenmuth is a small city situated in Saginaw County in the US State of Michigan. The city is located in the east-central portion of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, approximately an hour from the border with Canada. Frankenmuth is about 151 km from Detroit, 153 km from Windsor, Ontario, and 157 km from Sarnia, Ontario.

Geography And Climate Of Frankenmuth

Bavarian-style houses of the Bavarian Inn center on a perfect winter day.
Bavarian-style houses of the Bavarian Inn center on a perfect winter day. Editorial credit: T-I /

Frankenmuth covers a total area of 8.20 sq. km, of which 8.05 sq. km is occupied by land, and 0.15 sq. km is covered by water. The Cass River flows through Frankenmuth. Saginaw County is known for mild summers and cold winters. The city receives approximately 40 inches of snow annually, 12 inches more than the US average of 28 inches.

History Of Frankenmuth

Holz Brucke Wooden Covered Bridge in Frankenmuth, Michigan surrounded by a snowy winter scene
Holz Brucke Wooden Covered Bridge in Frankenmuth, Michigan surrounded by a snowy winter scene. 

Frankenmuth was settled in 1845 by German immigrants, most of whom arrived from Germany's Bavaria region. The initial purpose of the settlement was the potential conversion of Native American people in the area to Christianity, particularly the Lutheran tradition of Christianity. Many of the natives had moved out a few years after settlement, leaving the immigrants to settle the town more conventionally. The locals modeled Frankenmuth after Bavaria. Frankenmuth's early history is intertwined with the contemporary Kingdom of Bavaria, to whom all colonists were said to have sworn loyalty upon arriving. The settlement was initially meant to be exclusively for German Lutherans. The German language was held in high regard, and most residents were required to speak it. Insistence on German language and culture in Frankenmuth fizzled out during the First and Second World Wars, which positioned the United States against Germany both times. Nonetheless, the town maintained its German architecture and cultural connections to Bavaria as anti-German discrimination dissipated post-war. Today, Frankenmuth relies on tourism and farming to make money.

The Population Of Frankenmuth

Frankenmuth Historical Museum in Frankenmuth, Michigan
Frankenmuth Historical Museum in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Editorial credit: T-I /

Frankenmuth has a population of 4,987 as per the latest US Census. The town's residents are majority white at 98%. The Hispanic/Latino community is the second largest demographic, at only 0.95%. The remainder of the town's racial makeup consists of various races, as well as mixed-race individuals, amounting to less than a percent of the population each. Among the white population,49% of them have German ancestry, 12% have English origin, 6% have Irish ancestry, 8% have Polish ancestry, 4% have French ancestry, and 4.4% of white residents trace their roots to the initial settlers of North America. Approximately 45% of Frankenmuth identifies as religious. Furthermore, despite the Lutheran origins of the town, the majority of religious residents in Frankenmuth follow the Catholic tradition of Christianity, at 17.9%. Lutheranism follows at a close second, at 12.4%. Baptist Christianity is followed by 4.4% of religious Frankenmuth residents. All reported religious residents follow some form of Christian faith. 

Attractions In Frankenmuth

The Silent Night memorial chapel in Frankenmuth, Michigan.
The Silent Night memorial chapel in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Editorial credit: Michael Deemer /

Frankenmuth hosts the first ever Oktoberfest outside of Germany to be sanctioned by the city of Munich. Michiganders of German descent, or any German culture enthusiast in the area, can visit Frankenmuth around the same time as the original Oktoberfest in Germany. The Frankenmuth Autofest brings in automotive enthusiasts from all over the state to celebrate and admire classic cars of all varieties. A replica of the Silent Night Chapel can be found in Frankenmuth, modeled after the Chapel where the popular Christmas carol "Silent Night" was first performed in Salzburg, Austria, in 1818.

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