of Frankenmuth Historical Museum
Welcome to the Frankenmuth Historical Association Museum, located in the former Kern Commercial House Hotel, constructed in 1905. The original structure on this site was an 1882, two-story frame hotel. It was in the heart of downtown Frankenmuth and had a reputation as one of the best hotels according to its second owner, Lorenz Kern, who purchased it from the original owner, Heinrich Rau, in 1894.
When the brick Hotel was built in 1905, the frame structure was moved so that it attached to the rear of the brick section. The entire Hotel then had about six rooms to rent. Downstairs, a saloon was available for patrons, with a twenty-foot long bar table and matching wall mirror. A dining area for boarders was in the frame section next to the large kitchen where Mrs. Kern cooked. The Hotel's name, Commercial House, was derived from its function as a meeting place for the local merchants and traveling salesmen who displayed their products in the front parlor.
In 1942 the Frankenmuth News moved into the first floor of the Hotel while the saloon remained in business. At one time the News received national attention because it was the only newspaper with a saloon next to the office. In 1972, when the News outgrew the building, the Frankenmuth Historical Association purchased the historic hotel with contributions from Frankenmuth's 125th Anniversary Fund Campaign. The Frankenmuth Historical Museum opened its doors in August, 1973, following extensive building renovations.