Frankenmuth in Saginaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn
The village of Frankenmuth began as a German community in 1845. Its first settlers were among the German immigrants who left their homeland because of poor farming conditions and political unrest. Frankenmuth also attracted people who wanted to convert the Indians to the Lutheran faith. The Zehnder family emigrated from Germany in 1846. A family trip back to Bavaria in the 1950s inspired them to redecorate their restaurant in the Bavarian theme. The Bavarian Inn's motif, accented by a fifty-foot-high Glockenspiel, echoes Frankenmuth's German heritage. Over 20 million meals were served at the inn between 1888 and 1988. A record 5,470 meals were served on October 9, 1982. By the 1980s the Bavarian Inn was recognized as one of the ten largest restaurants in the United States.
Theodore Fischer, a former bartender at the Exchange Hotel (now Zehnders's Restaurant), established the Union House Hotel in 1888. His son, Herman and daughter-in-law, Lydia are said to have begun the tradition of the "All You Can Eat" family-style chicken dinners served here. The William Zehnder, Sr., family, distant relatives of Fischer, purchased the restaurant in 1950 and continued the chicken dinner tradition. In 1959 the Zehnders extensively renovated, enlarged and redecorated the restaurant in a fantasy Bavarian
Erected 1988 by Bureau of History, Michigan Department of State. (Marker Number 1577.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Michigan Historical Commission marker series.
Location. 43° 19.587′ N, 83° 44.422′ W. Marker is in Frankenmuth, Michigan, in Saginaw County. Marker is on South Main Street (State Highway 83), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 713 South Main Street, Frankenmuth MI 48734, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Restaurant (within shouting distance of this marker); Michigan's German Settlers (within shouting distance of this marker); Frankenmuth Woolen Mill (approx. 0.2 miles away); Frankenhilf (approx. 6½ miles away); The Bavarian Colony of Frankenhilf (approx. 6½ miles away).
Also see . . . Frankenmuth Museum. The Frankenmith Historical Society gives the history of their museum and the town. (Submitted on January 25, 2011.)
Additional keywords. German, Bavarian
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 24, 2011. This page has been viewed 1,024 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on January 24, 2011, by Mh of Las Vegas, Nevada. 2. submitted on December 29, 2013, by Mh of Las Vegas, Nevada. 3, 4. submitted on January 24, 2011, by Mh of Las Vegas, Nevada. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.