“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Helvetia in Randolph County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)


Helvetia Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, March 15, 2015
1. Helvetia Marker
Inscription. Settled by a group of Swiss and German immigrants who came via Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1869. In addition to farmers and herdsmen, many craftsmen and professionals were among the settlers: stone masons, carpenters and painters; wagon, shoe watch, hat and cheese makers; musician, teacher, minister and doctor. Later groups arriving from Switzerland and other parts of U.S. boosted 1874 population to 308.
Erected 1980 by West Virginia Department of Culture and History.
Location. 38° 42.289′ N, 80° 11.914′ W. Marker is in Helvetia, West Virginia, in Randolph County. Marker is on Mill Creek Road (Helvetia-Adolph Road) (County Route 46) east of Helvetia-Pickens Road (County Route 45), on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. It is at the community hall. Marker is in this post office area: Helvetia WV 26224, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Helvetia (approx. 0.2 miles away); Camp Elkwater (approx. 10.6 miles away); Elkwater / Col. J. A. Washington (approx. 10.6 miles away); Webster County / Randolph County (approx.
Marker at Community Center image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, March 15, 2015
2. Marker at Community Center
11.1 miles away); Upshur Militia (approx. 12 miles away); Kesler's Raid (approx. 12 miles away); Big Lime (approx. 12.6 miles away); The Conley Graves (approx. 12.6 miles away).
Regarding Helvetia. The Helvetia Village Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
Also see . . .  Wikipedia Entry. “After the end of the Civil War, a group of Swiss and German-speaking immigrants calling themselves the Grütliverein formed in Brooklyn, New York. The members agreed that they would all emigrate to another section of the country together when the time was right.

“A member of the society named Isler surveyed large swaths of the eastern West Virginia mountains for a Washington-based firm, and reported back to the society on the richness of the country. A committee of six men was assembled, and left Brooklyn by rail on October 15, 1869. They arrived at Clarksburg and began the difficult work of traveling by foot over the mountains.

“They reached a plot that was on offer for sale on October 20, and were disappointed by the extreme thickness of the wilderness in this lightly settled and rugged country. The land was very reasonably priced, though, and
Helvetia image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, March 15, 2015
3. Helvetia
These two structures on Old Helvetia Road are The Honey Haus and the Cheese Haus.
they had offers of other assistance from the land agents in Clarksburg if they would encourage further settlement in the area. After hearing the report of this exploration, the society members all decided they would go to West Virginia.

“Because of the low cost of the land, all of the settlers were able to buy their own tracts, ranging from a small house lot to hundreds of acres. An area of 100 acres (0.40 km sq) was set aside at the center of the community and laid off into lots, which were sold to skilled tradesmen as an incentive.

“At the beginning of 1871, there were thirty-two people living in the community. A new arrival in that year, C.E. Lutz, became the local land agent and wrote advertisements in English and German for papers across the country extolling the virtues of the settlement. New settlers came from various parts of the United States and Canada, and some immigrated directly from Switzerland” (Submitted on April 8, 2015.) 
Categories. Settlements & Settlers
Helvetia W.Va image. Click for full size.
Andrew Bain, via Wikipedia Commons, August 2, 2004
4. Helvetia W.Va
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 8, 2015, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 166 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 8, 2015, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photos of Helvetia in spring, summer or fall • Photos of Helvetia in its heyday • Can you help?
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