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Indiana Bicentennial Celebration 2016

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Explore County Bicentennial Activities > Switzerland County Switzerland County


Q&A with County Coordinator Christy Morgan

What do you consider the key accomplishment of your county's Bicentennial celebration?

  • Unification, and bringing us all together, also being able to celebrate achievements of the torchbearers. 

What Legacy Project do you most like to tell people about, and why?

  • I specifically liked the Swiss Wine Festival parade. Our county was founded by Swiss settlers, so it is important to our heritage. 

Describe a highlight or most memorable moment related to county's Bicentennial celebration.

  • It was a much more emotional experience than I had anticipated. There was one particular photo, and torch hand off, that included a young boy and a much older gentleman, the look on their faces was just priceless, I cry even thinking about it. In fact, when I look back at the photos, I cry every time. 

How/where are you preserving information and artifacts related to your county's celebration?

  • We have compiled everything, even mementos from the gala, and they will be preserved at our historical society. But, I will never forget it, ever. 

Total number of volunteers who participated.

  • 25.

Estimated total attendance.

  • Several hundred.

Estimated dollar amount raised.

  • $1,500.

Estimated dollar amount spent.

  • $3,500.

Switzerland County Legacy Project

Switzerland County

Switzerland County was named for the home country of many of the early settlers. Successful wine grape production in Switzerland County earned the area the title “The Rhineland of America.”

About the courthouse: David Dubach was the architect and the building was completed in 1864.

Today Vevay, the county seat, is home to a diverse artist colony of weavers, craftsmen, sculptors, painters and other artisans.

Switzerland County was an Ohio River “hot spot.” During the height of the steamboat era (1850-1920) dozens of steamboats stopped in the county each week.

The river was the lifeline of Switzerland County as food and supplies were brought in, while local produce and manufactured goods were shipped to market. Early maps show as many as 18 landings located in Switzerland County, according to the Switzerland County Historical Society.

  • Switzerland County changed America. Entrepreneur and Swiss immigrant U. P. Schenck used flatboats and steamboats to transport farmers’ Mormon Hay Press bales downriver to New Orleans and carry mail.  
  • Steamboats aided the Union by transporting troops and were used as rams.  
  • Methodist Circuit Riders Calvin Ruter and Edward Eggleston spread religion. 
  • Edward Eggleston’s literary works shared the Hoosier dialect and the one-room schoolhouse. 
  • Major Samuel Woodfill was the most decorated soldier of World War I.

County Seat: Vevay
Year Organized: 1814
Square Miles: 220.63

Switzerland County Bicentennial Committee

  • Christy Morgan
  • Anita Danner
  • Martha Bladen
  • Donna Weaver
  • Dr. Elizabeth Jones
  • Rhonda Pennington