On-site research by appointment not necessary but recommended

Frankenmuth, Michigan, Historical Collection, 1840-1948

  • Collection Number: M-0025
  • Collection Size: 0.3 linear feet

Historical Background

When Pastor F.C.D. Wyneken pleaded during his 1841 visit to Germany about the lack of Lutheran pastors in America, Pastor Wilhelm Loehe from Neuendettelsau, Bavaria, immediately became interested and developed a plan to start mission work in Michigan. His special attention was given to the Native Americans located in the Saginaw Valley. In June 1845 fifteen emigrants, mainly from the area of Rosstall, Franconia, landed in the “jungle” fifteen miles southeast of Saginaw, Michigan. Friedrich August Craemer, at the time a candidate of theology, was selected by Loehe to become the pastor of the mission colony, which was called Frankenmuth in honor of the region in Germany from which they originated. On Christmas Day 1846, only one and a half years after the arrival of the Franconians, their first church was dedicated—St. Lorenz Lutheran Church.

Scope and Content Note

The Frankenmuth Historical Association donated this collection to Concordia Historical Institute in 1983. It includes an array of photocopied letters (1840-1920) of early residents of Frankenmuth, Michigan, as well as an assortment of transcribed letters from Friedrich August Craemer (1812-1891), the founder of the mission colony in Frankenmuth. There are various church resisters, bylaws and congregational records, mainly from St. Lorenz Lutheran Church, in this collection as well. The photographs available are a variety of a hundredth anniversary parade and pageant in 1948. Furthermore, a short biography of Pastor Karl August Wilhelm Roebbelen (1817-1866), the second pastor of St. Lorenz Lutheran Church, and an essay by him are available.

Folder List

  • f.1 Biographical Information (F. A. Craemer)
  • f.2 Church By Laws (Frankenmuth)
  • f.3 Church Records (Frankenmuth)
  • f.4 Church Register (Rosstal, Germany)
  • f.5 Correspondence 1845-1920 (various)
  • f.6 Correspondence 1840-1874 (F. A. Craemer)
  • f.7 Correspondence (undated)
  • f.8 “First Abode” Restoration
  • f.9 General Information
  • f.10 Life Story of K. A. W. Roebbelen
  • f.11 Photographs
  • f.12 Vacancy Diploma 1 May 1887
  • f.13 “What do you think about Pastor Loehe?” by Roebbelen
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