A Bit of Swiss

A Bit of Swiss (HMW04)

Location: Tell City, IN 47586 Perry County
Buy Indiana State flags at Flagstore.com!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at Flagstore.com!

N 37° 57.095', W 86° 46.176'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
In the early 1800s, the Ohio River was the font of Midwestern settlement. Easy river travel helped spur colonization. German speaking Swiss people were among the many ethnic groups who migrated to America seeking economic opportunity and freedom from European oppression.

German-speaking Swiss people and others like them already living in Cincinnati, Ohio, formed the Swiss Colonization Society in 1856.

A committee was formed to find a new home along a river in a free state. Indiana was chosen for its border on the Ohio River and its beautiful hills resembling sections of their Swiss homeland. Their new city was named Tell City for William Tell, the legendary hero who was forced to shoot an apple off his son's head as punishment to the feudal lords for his disobedience.

Settlers were given land and materials on the condition they build houses and repay the cost of materials to the society within 3 years. Loans were made for new businesses and growth was phenomenal. The initial settlement in April 1858 numbered 300, and within a month it had doubled. In 1859 the Swiss Colonization Society moved its headquarters to Tell City. Having completed its mission, it disbanded in 1879.

Tell City continued to prosper, and by 1885 had 26 furniture factories; the industry is well-known even today. The Swiss Germans also produced beer and wine, and the town had many beer gardens and saloons. Music and festivity have always been and are still part of the fun at Tell City.

Another Swiss settlement occurred at Vevay, Indiana, also on the Ohio River Scenic Byway, upriver of Tell City. Here the French-speaking Swiss took advantage of the fertile soil and ideal conditions for wine-making, among other pursuits.

By the Way: The original name for Tell City was Helvetia (a Latin name for Switzerland.)
HM NumberHMW04
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 at 6:57pm PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 520241 N 4200468
Decimal Degrees37.95158333, -86.76960000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 57.095', W 86° 46.176'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 57' 5.70" N, 86° 46' 10.56" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)812
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 700-798 Main St, Tell City IN 47586, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. Is this marker part of a series?
  2. What historical period does the marker represent?
  3. What historical place does the marker represent?
  4. What type of marker is it?
  5. What class is the marker?
  6. What style is the marker?
  7. Does the marker have a number?
  8. What year was the marker erected?
  9. Who or what organization placed the marker?
  10. This marker needs at least one picture.
  11. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  12. Is the marker in the median?