Heritage \ Writings

Letters by Rev. Ferdinand Sievers
A series of letters written to Rev. Laere in Germany about the Frankenlust settlement.
  • Contributed by Kathy (Stroemer) Czuba (May 2005)
  • Introduction

    In 1848, Rev. Ferdinand Sievers, a young and newly ordained minister, led a group of German emigrants to Michigan. They ultimately settled in what is now Frankenlust township of Bay County. Rev. Sievers' mission was made possible Rev. Wilhelm Loehe of Germany, who provide spiritual and financial support for settlement of a new colony. (For further information see Rev. Sievers' biography and St. Paul Lutheran Church, links to each are in the right-hand column.)

    In Rev. Sievers' letters we receive a first-hand account describing what the early settlement period was like as he reports back to Rev. Loehe in Germany about the new colony's struggles and progress being made in the wilderness west of the Saginaw River between Bay city and Saginaw.

    The transcribing of these letters for creating web pages was done from a typed copy and a not the original document. See {About The Letters} for further comments about the letters and a brief historical background on Rev. Sievers.

    The following is a brief subject listing for each of the letters:

    June 27th, 1848:

  • Selection process for settlement area.
  • Members of settlement.
  • Frankenmuth settlers.
  • References to Saginaw and Lower Saginaw (Bay City).
  • August 11th, 1848:

  • Provisions purchased in Detroit.
  • Move from Saginaw to Frankenlust settlement.
  • Difficulties with weather and swampland.
  • Frankenlust plans.
  • Financial matters, costs and loan.
  • Surveying plats.
  • April 18th, 1849:

  • Rev. Sievers is engaged.
  • Speaks of father-in-laws faith.
  • Covers cost of land and homesteads.
  • Describes climate and land conditions.
  • Opportunities for workers and businesses.
  • December 7th, 1853:

  • Growth and expansion of missionary work.
  • Rev. Sievers' family is growing.
  • February 10th, 1862:

  • Civil War has begun causing hard times.
  • Salt discovered in Frankenlust area.
  • February 11th, 1863:

  • Indian revolutions in Minnesota affect missionary work.
  • Dramtic growth of salt mines.
  • Civil War creating higher prices.
  • September 15th, 1863:

  • Birth of twin daughters, and the death of one.
  • Civil War bitterness and corruption rampant.
  • Theological differences between Rev. Sievers and Rev. Loehe.
  • January 16th, 1869:

  • Settlement of loan.
  • Rev. Sievers remorses about relationship with Rev. Loehe.
  • Go to "About the Letters" or "First letter - June 27, 1848"

    Related Notes & Pages

    Rev. Ferdinand Sievers

    Rev. Wilhelm Loehe

    Bio. Rev. Sievers Heritage/Religion/
    St. Paul Lutheran Church
    About the Letters
    Letter June 27, 1848
    Letter August 11, 1848
    Letter April 18, 1849
    Letter December 7, 1853
    Letter February 10, 1862
    Letter February 11, 1863
    Letter September 15, 1863
    Letter January 16, 1869
    WRITINGS: "History As It Was Written Then." -- HELP US IS YOU CAN - Contribute Content to Bay-Journal.