Have You Ever Heard of ‘Frankenhilf’, Michigan?
The Tuscola County village of Richville was settled in 1851 under a much stranger name: 'Frankenhilf'.
In 1849, a Bay County reverend named Ferdinand Sievers bought up more than 1500 acres of land in this area, in hopes of creating a haven for German immigrants. Two of those German families that came to America were led here by another reverend, Herman Kuehn. In 1851. They dubbed their new homestead land as 'Frankenhilf' - named after 'Franconia' in Bavaria and the term 'hilf' which means to help, or assist.
That same year, a church was organized: the St. Michael's Lutheran. A post office followed, but, by 1862, and because of the odd-sounding name 'Frankenhilf', postmasters took it upon themselves to call this postal station 'Richville' – easier to spell, simpler to pronounce.
St. Michaels' Church, although renovated over the years, still stands in the same spot and holds bilingual services in English and German. Near the church is an historical marker that relates the tale of 'Frankenhilf'.
Take a look at the gallery below!
PHOTOS OF RICHVILLE