of Vevays historic
Grisard Building gives it new life
shops to merge
into one in new building
VEVAY, Ind. Its back. Since the 1830s,
the Vevay, Ind., building at 217 Ferry St., has served its community
as a hardware store, veterans club, youth meetinghouse and even
the Switzerland County, Ind., courthouse for a spell. Now the historic
Grisard Building has been renovated and opened as a treasure house filled
with original, locally made goods.
courtesy of Kendall R. Miller
and local agencies were on hand
for a ribbon cutting ceremony kicking
off the grand opening of the Of
Switzerland County store located at
217 Ferry Street in downtown Vevay
on April 29, 2010. They are (from left)
David Attaway, executive director of
the Switzerland County Tourism; Mike
Jones, president, Switzerland County
Council; Kent Abraham, director,
Indiana Landmarks; Sherry Seiwert,
executive director, Indiana Housing
and Community Development
Authority, Ron Otter, president,
Switzerland County Tourism Board
of Directors; Kirk Works, Vevay
Town Board; Tammy Hayes, Treasurer,
Vevay-Switzerland Foundation; Pam
Acton, executive director, Community
Foundation of Switzerland County.
Of Switzerland County held its grand opening
on April 29. More than 200 people, including Indiana state tourism officials
attended the event.
In 2007, Switzerland County Tourism was selected as one of three pilot
communities to receive a grant for over $333,000 from the Real Estate
Capital Access Program, part of Indiana Lieutenant Gov. Becky Skillmans
program that assists with revitalization projects in rural areas. The
former Grisard Building, as it has been known for decades and is now
the Of Switzerland County store, is one of the projects
that benefited from this program.
The new store is actually part of the Visions of Switzerland County
the county tourism office implemented several years ago. Part of the
projects mission was to revitalize the historic buildings in downtown
Vevay and providing incentives for private businesses to open. Four
concept stores, The Mercantile, Signatures of Switzerland County, Amish
Goods of Switzerland County and Antiques and Treasures, were all opened
through the Visions Project. Now, they are all being combined into one
retail space, Of Switzerland County, so that private businesses can
take over the former locations.
The stores were meant to be place holders to prove retail could
make it in downtown Vevay, said Angie Satterfield, Visions Project
Coordinator for Switzerland County Tourism. There are lots of
ideas and creativity happening within the community by the private sector,
so we felt it was time to bring our stores together under one fantastic
roof and let others open.
She said people have come into the Of Switzerland County excited that
the building has found a new use. People call it the building
that wont go away, and they are thrilled its back. You wouldnt
believe how many stories weve heard about what this building means
to people and how their lives intertwine with it.
The new store will feature handcrafted items and original artwork by
local artisans. Artwork includes everything from prints to upscale sculpture
and paintings. A variety of custom-made goods, crafts and food items,
including locally produced honey, jams and jellies, will be available
as is original pottery and woodworking. The store will feature artists
of the month, live demonstrations and musicians, and eventually Amish
made goods, antiques and collectibles will be added to the selection.
Currently, only the Mercantile and the Signatures of Switzerland County
have been bundled into the building. The other two stores should eventually
relocate unless they are sold outright. Antiques and Treasures has had
a lot of interest from potential buyers said Satterfield, and if someone
wants to buy it, terms can be negotiated.
Many of the buildings along Vevays Main Street are actually for
sale, including the former Phoenix Hotel Building that houses the tourism
office. That building has unused apartment space on the top two floors.
We are keeping all options open and trying to do what makes the
most sense for our community, said David Attaway, Executive Director
of Switzerland County Tourism. We understand that private business
is what will propel the community forward.
Along with the RECAP grant awards, several community partners were also
involved in the creation of this program, including Local Initiatives
Support Corp. and Historic Landmarks of Indiana. A site team was
created with representatives from each of those partners, as well as
IHCDA, Office of Community and Rural Affairs, and the Office of Tourism.
Local support was also provided by the following local organizations:
Switzerland County Government, Switzerland County Tourism, Switzerland
County Economic Development Corporation, The Community Foundation of
Switzerland County, the Town of Vevay, and the Vevay-Switzerland County
Other local businesses and organizations that benefited by RECAP grant
funds include: The American Legion, Community Foundation, the Courthouse
Project, Cuzzs Bar, Danners Hardware, Grisard Building,
Haskell Morrison Funeral Home, Life on the Ohio History, Museum, Switzerland
County Museum, Los Bandidos Restaurant & Grill, MainSource Bank,
Phoenix Hotel, Ferry Street Woodworks, Riverhouse, Roxanos, Schenck
Mansion, Shells Ice Cream & Grill, former Sinclair Garage,
Switzerland County Museum, Switzerland County Historical Society, and
the Vevay United Methodist Church.
For more information about Of Switzerland
County, call (812) 427-2445. For information about purchasing any of
the buildings contact Switzerland County Tourism at (812) 427-3237.
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