Frankenmuth is a city in Saginaw County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 4,944 at the 2010 census. The city is surrounded by Frankenmuth Township. Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, which bills itself as “the World’s Largest Christmas Store“, is located in Frankenmuth. The city’s name is a combination of two words. “Franken” represents the Province of Franconia in the Kingdom of Bavaria from which the original settlers came, and the German word “Mut” means courage. Thus, the name Frankenmuth means “courage of the Franconians”. The most popular nickname is “Little Bavaria“, but the city is also nicknamed “Muth“.
The area was settled and named by conservative Lutheran immigrants from Roßtal area of Franconia in Germany. The group of settlers left Germany aboard the Caroline on April 20, 1845, and arrived at Castle Garden in New York seven weeks later. They traveled via canals and the Great Lakes from New York to Detroit and arrived in August 1845. Sailing then on the Nelson Smith, the settlers made their way to Saginaw and traveled over land to what is now the city of Frankenmuth.The purpose of the settlement was primarily religious. The Lutheran group planned to start a mission among the Native Americans. One of the first large buildings was a church.
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