We hope you enjoy this abbreviated version of the
Serving Frankenmuth Since 1906
Vol. 111 No. 42 In our 111th year!
Wednesday, April 19 2017
THE WATER WHEEL...on the west side of the Lager Mill will be removed in order to enhance the levee and dike. The wheel has not been powered by city water for the past 17 years. Additionally, the mill is not really historic as it was built some 35 years ago.
Water wheel must go as part of the levee project
The Cass River has been as much a part of Frankenmuth as the founding of St. Lorenz Lutheran some 172 years ago.
From the original dam built in the mid-1850s to the recent rock ramp fish passage opened three years ago, the river nearly divides the community in half.
Lately, work has been done by the Cass River Greenway Committee to expand and increase recreational opportunities in the Cass - up and down stream of Frankenmuth.
But in the early 1980s, two wooden structures added ambience to the meandering river. First, the Holzbruecke (wooden covered bridge) was built and dedicated in September, 1980. Then, a few hundred feet downstream, the Nickless-Hubinger Mill – now the Lager Mill – opened in early 1983.
While the bridge has been refurbished over the years and remained the same, the Nickless-Hubinger structure has quite a history.
The mill survived the -year flood” of September 1986, although water breached the building and is marked inside today for posterity.
Recently, area residents have learned that the water wheel on the west side of the mill will be removed. It is important to note that while the wheel is a part of the mill, it has not been powered by city water for the past 17 years. Additionally, the mill is not really historic as it was built some 35 years ago.
Frankenmuth Downtown Development Authority Director Sheila Stamiris has become an authority on the river, having dealt with the rock ramp project for a dozen years. Now she is working with various government agencies for an enhanced levee and dike. If improvements are not made to the levee, certain businesses located near the river will not be able to get flood insurance.
Stamiris said the water wheel will be removed and in fact, may be in poor condition.
“The soils in that part of the levee are in poor shape. Core samplings taken in that area indicate the soil was not compacted enough to support the wall,” Stamiris said. “The levee also cannot have any holes in it.”
The wheel won’t go away. It will be used as a decorative element somewhere on or near the mill.
The governmental agencies are telling the city the levee is not tall enough to survive a 100-year flood. They want the levee to stand 3-4 feet tall.
In some instances, a cap can be added to the existing levee. In some cases, the dike and levee are interchangeable due to the soils. Near the Holzbruecke, the soil compaction is not good either. It could be too sandy and cannot be compacted enough to make the levee stable to hold back flood water.
The existing levee includes the dike along Gunzenhausen Street. From the mill, the cement wall travels toward Main Street, is erected between the Main Street Bridge and the Holzbruecke, and continues north, guarding the Bavarian Inn Restaurant, Frankenmuth Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitors Bureau and ends behind Willy Rummel’s home.
The Frankenmuth Historical Association owns the Lager Mill property. In addition to selling craft beers, home brewing supplies and housing Bavarian Specialties, the Mill is also a museum dedicated to Frankenmuth brewing history as well as the state.
The levee project will also include creating a more “walkable” community. The Mill will benefit from an expanded patio overlooking the river and fish passage. The concrete patio will also fortify the Mill as well as the riverbank.