New Baltimore / St. John's Lutheran Church
French explorers led by Pierre Yax first settled in the area now known as New Baltimore in 1796. Chippewa Indians inhabited this vicinity then. Fabian Robertjean made the first government land purchase in 1820. Twenty-five years later, Alfred Ashley of Mount Clemens came here and built the first sawmill and dock, and in 1851, platted the village of Ashley. He also managed a hotel and general store, opened the first post office in his store in 1852. German pioneers arrived here in 1853 clearing land along the Salt River for their settlement. Renamed New Baltimore in 1855, this area was incorporated as a village in 1867 and as a city in 1931. New Baltimore is a popular place for fisherman and hunters and is noted for its expansive shoreline dotted with summer cottages and homes.
St. John's Lutheran Church
In 1863, during the stormy days of the Civil War, Lutheranism had its beginning in the New Baltimore area. Seven German families made up the original congregation of St. John's Lutheran Church, holding worship services in the home of Fritz Turkow. Five years later the worshipers moved to an old chapel which was rented from the Baptists. In 1870 the Lutherans erected this structure on property given by Gilbert Hatheway in January of 1869. Services and religious instruction were offered in German until 1916 when English was introduced with one English service a month. German services were discontinued in 1934. St. John's houses a Hinners mechanical action organ, which was acquired in 1905.