By Al Zehnder, CEO of Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth
My grandfather, William Zehnder, Sr. and my grandmother Emilie purchased what was then The New Exchange Hotel in December of 1928. So I would imagine that negotiations for the building were in full swing, if not completed, by the fall of 1928, ninety years ago.
One of their first orders of business was to remodel the front of the building. Why, during Prohibition and on the doorstep of the Great Depression, they wouldn’t have decided to get a little cash going before a remodel is a question lost in time.
My grandfather was a fan of George Washington and took inspiration for the remodel from Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington. My youngest daughter recently took a field trip to Washington D.C. and on the way back her class stopped at Mt. Vernon. Of course, dad had her armed with historical pictures of Zehnder’s so she could point out the similarities to her classmates. I thought I would share them with you as well.
If your travels bring you to Frankenmuth this fall, stop by and see the rest of our history on our history wall just off our Main Lobby. We’re Pure Michigan.
Al Zehnder, CEO