Bernstadt, Kentucky, also known as Swiss Colony, was founded in 1881 by Swiss immigrants from Bern, Switzerland, through efforts of Paul Schenk.
The First Evangelical Protestant Church of Bernstadt was pastored by Rev. Melchior Denny. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Other Swiss churches are St. John's Swiss Reform Alphious and St. Sylvester Catholic Church, both in East Bernstadt.
Three schools established by the Swiss at Bernstadt were Upper Colony, Lower Colony and East Colony. Other Swiss communities were East Bernstadt, Langnau, London, Strassburg, Fariston and Lily. A hotel, operated by Friedrich Huber, was located nearby. Other Swiss occupations were merchant, cheese maker, winemaker, teacher, wagon maker, shoemaker, watchmaker, carpenter, woodcarver, farmer, mechanic, musician, butcher, and minister.
Some early Swiss family names were Abbuhl, Aeberhart, Aeschlimann, Balsinger, Bendel, Bill, Binder, Blunschi, Bruner, Butcher, Dischler, Dubach, Egger, Fiechter, Fluckinger, Frey, Graybeal, Gumbert, Haake, Hanser, Hauselman, Hauser, Herzig, Hesse, Heuhls, Ibach, Ingold, Kanzig, Keller, Konitzer, Krahenbuhl, Krall, Lederman, Lemp, Leuenberger, Lincks, Lutz, Meyer, Mori, Mueller, Muster, Neidermann, Ott, Rohner, Ruesch, Ryser, Sahli, Schaffhauser, Schalch, Schoeni, Schott, Schupbach, Siegrist, Stirnemann, Straub, Tobler, Trosch, Uhlman, Wageli, Waldroff, Warncke, Wiedmer, Wittenback, Wittwer, Zimmerman.
Alfred and Hilda Keller founded the Swiss Descendents Club to preserve Swiss history and heritage. A reunion is held every August where descendents celebrate their heritage.