Tell City in Perry County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
A Bit of Swiss
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
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.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Places.
Location. 37° 57.095′ N, 86° 46.176′ W. Marker is in Tell City, Indiana, in Perry County. Marker is on Main Street north of Mozart Street, on the right when traveling north. For ease of parking and walking it may be best to pull off of Mozart Street into the Tell City Hall drive in getting to the marker. Located on the West lawn of the Tell City Hall in "City Hall Park" Tell City, Indiana. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Tell City IN 47586, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured Tell City Hall (a few steps from this marker); Perry County Indiana Honor Roll Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Army and Air National Guard Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Abraham S. Fulton (approx. 3.6 miles away); County Named - 1829 (approx. 3.7 miles away in Kentucky); Hawesville Railroad Station (approx. 3.7 miles away in Kentucky); A New Home in Indiana (approx. 4.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tell City.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on September 25, 2011, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 441 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on September 25, 2011, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.