Located in the Bavarian Inn Lodge, the history of Frankenmuth is told through a series of stained-glass murals. These fascinating murals were created by Bob Vavrina, a local artist, in 1973 for the Bavarian Inn Restaurant. However, during the 1987 renovations, they were taken down and put into storage.

The murals were later reintroduced in the Bavarian Inn Lodge and can still be visited by any passerby who desires to get a glimpse into Frankenmuth’s heritage!

The first stained glass mural is the Brewery Window. At the top of the window, is an illustration of the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill and Cider Mill. During the first World War, the Woolen Mill was granted the opportunity to support our country by knitting our soldiers woolen socks. With the support of their 29 employees the Woolen Mill was able to provide our soldiers with 66,000 pairs of socks.

The Woolen Mill remains in business to this day, creating a variety of hand-crafted products ranging from throw blankets to socks similar to the ones made during World War 1.

Below the visual of the Woolen Mill is the center piece which features the Cass River Brewery. The building was built alongside the Cass River by Marin Heubisch and Wilhelm Knaust in 1862.

To the right of this picture is a scene in the brewery of employees cleaning the kegs from which the beer was served. Today, the Cass River Brewery continues to serve a diverse selection of craft beers and provisions.

Following the Brewery Window is the Religious Heritage Window. This mural provides insight to Frankenmuth’s religious history and the original settlers.

At the very top, pictured is Martin Luther’s Coat of Arms which is a widely recognized symbol of Lutheranism and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Below this frame, is a replica the first church of Frankenmuth built by William “Tiny” Zehnder, Jr. in 1962. Next to the church, sits the church bells which were cast in Germany and brought over in 1845 by the first group of settlers.

The left frame features one of Frankenmuth’s most influential original settlers, Pastor Wilhelm Loehe. William was from Neuendettelsau, Germany and was responsible for setting up the four Franken communities! These include Frankentrost, Frankenmuth, Frankenlust, and Frankenhilf (Richville).

The next mural is the Founders Window. In the center is William Zehnder Sr. and his wife, Emilie Bickel Zehnder. With their children, they established the Zehnder’s Restaurant and the Bavarian Inn Restaurant, which was formerly the Fischer Hotel.

To the right of the portraits, the original Fischer Hotel is pictured. It was purchased by the Zehnder family in 1950, remodeled and renamed in 1959, and finally in 1967 the Glockenspiel was added.

The legacy of original settlers of hard-work and dedication to bringing together friends, family and Frankenmuth lives on through these murals.

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