Vevay Bicentennial

Switzerland Co. Historical Society
plans several events
to celebrate Vevay history

Tours to be offered to historical sites

VEVAY, Ind. (October 2013) – Experience history through a combination of engaging events while celebrating the Vevay, Switzerland County Bicentennial. From the time-honored art of quilts to period entertainment to pioneer homesteads, three special events will provide a sensory look into our unique history.
Begin your experience with a “Patchwork of History” that features a quilt show spanning more than 100 years along with history displays of social and service organizations that have a long term history in the county. The opening reception will be from 4-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at the Switzerland County Technology and Education Center, 708 W. Seminary St. in Vevay. “Patchwork of History” will continue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday Oct. 6.
An old-fashioned tent “Chautauqua” will take center stage at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, on the Switzerland County Historical Museum grounds, 208 E. Market St. Vevay actively participated in the social sensation, once popular throughout rural America known as the Chautauqua, which included guest speakers on social and political issues of the time and a variety of entertainment.

Musee de Venoge

Photo provided

Musee de Venoge near
Vevay, Ind., is on the National
Register of Historic Sites.

The most popular of all Chautauqua speakers, William Jennings Bryan, spoke in Vevay in 1917. So the Bicentennial Chautauqua will feature a return visit from Mr. Bryan, along with a local suffragette, music, dance and comedic relief of the era. Visitors are encouraged to don appropriate attire for the time and mingle at the tea following the performance.
The “Rural Heritage Tour” takes place the following weekend, honoring the rural heritage that founded Switzerland County. The second annual “Rural Heritage Tour” showcases three sites that exhibit a high level of stewardship towards preserving rural architecture. The tour includes Musee de Venoge, the Thiebaud Farmstead and the Garland Farm. The self-guided tour can start at any of the three sites from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13.
Musee de Venoge (111 State Rte. 129) and the Thiebaud Farmstead (5147 E. State Rd. 56) are revitalized properties that had both suffered from extended periods of being vacant. Both are now listed on the National Register of Historic Sites and are house museums. Period trades, music, domestic arts and hearth cooking will be part of the happenings at both locations.
Military demonstrations will take place at both sites, with an 1812 muster at Venoge and a Civil War encampment at the Thiebaud site. A traditional Ox Roast similar to one the early Swiss held on the Court House grounds will also be part of the festivities at Venoge.
The third site on the “Rural Heritage Tour” is the Garland Farm (2767 Garland Rd.), a modern dairy farm devoted to producing organic, grass-fed dairy products from their Jersey herd. Their modern operation is on a family farm with a house originally built in 1836 and an old scissor-truss barn that still sees a lot of activity.
No admission is charged for “Patchwork of History,” “Chautauqua” or the “Rural Heritage Tour.” For those wishing to enjoy the Ox Roast dinner, there is a charge of $11. The dinner will be held at Musee de Venoge, and dessert will be served at the Thiebaud Homestead.
A myriad of other experiences and activities are part of the Vevay, Switzerland County Bicentennial Celebration. For details, visit: www.VevayBicentennial.org.

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