YouTube has millions of videos for someone to choose and watch. Topics range from cooking to gaming, pets to gardening, and everything in between. Even in the historical field, there are thousands of videos on a variety of different topics, so much so that you could never watch all the videos that YouTube holds in a lifetime!
“Universal” means “of, affecting, or done by all people or things in the world or in a particular group; applicable to all cases.”
If you’ve ever been a part of an organization, a council, board of directors, or a team, you probably know how difficult it is to get everyone on the same page. People have different ideas and strategies of how to approach a problem. There is rarely a “universal” solution.
“The soldier does not fight for hate of the enemy or what is in front of him, but for love of his brothers and what's behind him.”
William Cuthbertson, just 28 years old in the Summer of 1942, had a lot behind him to fight for. He had recently married his fiancé, Dorothy Nuechterlein, in April. Little did he know, but Dorothy would have a child 9 months later. He had friends and family in Michigan, not to mention the brothers serving in close proximity on the submarine, the Grunion.
History is often painted with blurred lines, but it's not always presented that way. Textbooks attempt to correct our vision of the past, but sometimes, their prescription isn’t always correct.
“Hey Heidi, I need to know more about a building on Main Street.”
“Talk to Mary,” Heidi says.
I look over at Mary. “Mary, what can you tell me about the old brick building up for sale on Main Street?”
“You mean the one that used to be next to the Gugel Bros. store?” she replies.
I remember visiting Arlington National Cemetery when I was in middle school. My parents thought that it was important to see the sacrifice that countless men and women have made for our country.
I remember walking out to the hallowed grounds. I looked out over JFK’s gravesite at the countless bright white tombstones, as if in formation, along the hillsides. I was astonished at the sheer number of tombstones I saw. I walked along Arlington’s gravel paths, reading names that marked each site. And I walked. And walked. And walked. And walked. Everywhere I turned, more tombstones, as far as the eye could see. I didn’t see much of the 640 acres at Arlington. What I saw was simply a fraction of those buried under the 640 acres at Arlington. And now I think… Arlington holds less than one-quarter of those lost in combat alone…
This week marks the unofficial founding of the Frankenmuth Historical Association, the organization that preserves Frankenmuth’s history. In the 1960s, Frankenmuth residents were rediscovering their German heritage. The Bavarian festival increased in popularity, businesses adopted German “alpine” accents, Gunzenhausen was established as Frankenmuth’s Sister City, local residents met German cousins they never knew they had, and a small group of locals began meeting in the old high school, in each others houses, and even in basements to discuss the prospects of forming a historical organization. In 1963, the group formally organized the Frankenmuth Historical Association.
With no physical building to their name, the Association created and displayed artifacts in local businesses and at the school. In 1970, the Association created a campaign to raise funds from the local community. Thanks to the generosity of the town, the Association raised enough to purchase its permanent and current home at 613 S. Main Street, the former home of the Kern Hotel (1905-1942) and the Frankenmuth News (1942-1970).
Preparing to install a new exhibit is a lot of work, and prepping for our newest exhibit, The Great Lakes State Goes to War, was particularly draining for me. Not because of the amount of hours that went into the research and exhibit, but because of the words I read about soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
“Left behind his mother.”
“Left behind his two sisters.”
“Left behind his fiance.”
“Left behind his wife and daughter.”
In the Spring of 1850, a group of settlers set out from Mittelfranken, Bavaria to begin their 4-month journey to their new home. Most of the group lost heart in settling in unknown lands. Several families split off and left for Detroit and Saginaw. When they saw a chance at a new life and economic freedom, they took it. I recently said this to one tourist and she asked, "How important was religion to the early settlers?" This is a complicated question that is best answered by the settlers themselves. So, I dove into these early letters to understand this better myself.
Though Frankenmuth is probably the most well-known German settlement in the region, it wasn’t the only one. In fact, there were three other German settlements, one of those being Frankenlust.
If you ever drive North on I-75 or M-84, you may have noticed signs marking “Frankenlust Township.” Wait, why did Germans settle there when Frankenmuth was already fairly well established? Why would they choose to settle 25 miles away? I’m glad you asked!
We are proud to present History at Home! History at Home is a virtual learning program that includes fun educational content, including a blog and our podcast. Even if you cannot visit us in person, there is still so much to do!