HGIA: New Glarus, Wisconsin

New Glarus, Wisconsin
Photo by Luca Zanetti, © by Glarner Kantonalbank, Switzerland.

New Glarus, Wisconsin, was settled in 1845 by a group of Swiss German immigrants from Canton Glarus. For decades, this rural community looked much like any other Midwest pioneer settlement. Only toward the end of the nineteenth century, as European Americans nationwide began to celebrate their ethnic and national backgrounds publicly, did New Glarus “rediscover” its Swiss heritage. By staging festivals and pageants celebrating Swiss Independence Day, the arrival of the original immigrants, and—beginning in the 1930s—the William Tell story, New Glarus brought together not only members of its local community, but also Swiss Americans from across the country.

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