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Please help us to share our service with your friends. Share Embed Donate. Report this link. From to the early years of the 20 th century, over fifty families of Swiss immigrants came to Grundy County, Tennessee with the express purpose of creating a Swiss Colony, a community composed almost entirely of Germanspeaking Swiss that would preserve their culture in a new land.
They gave to the area the inspiring name of Gruetli, the meadow where legend says representatives of three cantons met in and formed the league which grew, over centuries, into the Swiss confederation. They came with high hopes, definite support of their home government, and fervent loyalty to their native land. This book tells their story. Today, most physical evidence of the Colony has vanished. Fortunately, this bridge, built with community labor in the earliest days of the settlement survives to symbolize the Colony, itself a bridge for those Swiss families into mainstream America.
Painting by Johann Heinrich Bleuler, or Peter Staub is depicted in the early records of Gruetli as the benefactor, indeed, as the savior of the colony. A Swiss immigrant, he became mayor of Knoxville, and the above portrait hangs in the city hall there. He was somewhat maligned in the original text reprinted here, but further research, now included in the book, has fully justified the high regard in which the Gruetli settlers held him.
Captain Plumacher and the Days before the Colony13 Chapter 2. The Founding of the Colony Some Prominent Families Agricultural Life Educational, Religious, Artistic, and Social Interests German Text of a Brochure German Texts from Minutes of the Agricultural Society Land Transactions of Peter Staub They gave to the area the inspiring name of Gruetli, the meadow where, in the legend used by Friedrich Schiller in his Wilhelm Tell, representatives of three cantons met in and formed the league which grew, over centuries, into the Swiss confederation.
This Tennessee settlement was to be explicitly Swiss; the community was to be called Switzerland, and the city which they hoped would rise within it was to be Bern. They expected to have their own schools, taught in both German and English. It recounts the founding of the colony indescribes some of the prominent families, chronicles the discussions of the Agricultural Society, and, to some extent, follows the settlers and their descendants as they moved away and assimilated into American society.
Jackson visited Gruetli and was evidently taken by these remarkable people who still, after more than sixty years in the Tennessee moun tains, preserved striking evidence of the European Swiss culture of their ancestors.
Her principal sources were the stories of the people themselves. Had she not recorded them, they would be largely lost to us today. Some families, however, still remember stories she did not include. And there is the story of what has happened to these families in the 70 years since she wrote. This judgment, would, I believe, be inappropriate. The immigrants came seeking economic prosperity and dignity for themselves and their children. If the Colony had imme diately wilted and disbanded, one would be justified in calling it a failure.
On the day of the initial allocation of lots inthere were 41 purchasers present. The minutes of community meetings report lots allocated to 81 persons by the end of However, at the community elections on December 31,only 31 votes were cast, presumably one per family. The map of June 1, shows 80 landowners, 48 of them the same as in the minutes. Apparently, 33 of the original asees had indeed left more or less immediately. Presumably, they foresaw the sore trial of the winter, for which they would not have time to build adequate shelter or provide themselves with food.
But after that winter, the inflow began again, and by the time the map was made, these 33 owners had been replaced by 32 new owners. An owner, however, was not necessarily a settler; on the map, only about 36 lots had houses on them. Between these two dates, the Census showed people of Swiss origin living in Grundy County in 43 households, a few outside the Colony area. A decade later, the Census showed people of Swiss origin or born to Swiss parents living in 68 households in Grundy County, mostly in the Gruetli area.
Of these households, 32 were new between and Evidently, the word going back to Switzerland was encouraging more families to come.
Twenty-five years after establishment of the Colony, we read: There is a Swiss Colony in Grundy County, Tennessee, which seems like a part of a foreign country, so perfectly have they kept their native habits and customs, and style of architecture in the building of their little cottages. There are carvers there whose quaint work finds ready sale.Dating and Dating site christian dating knoxville tn
Their wines have taken several premiums, and it is a rare treat to go through their well-kept vineyards. One of the remarkable phases of life there is the great age to which they attain, there being several centenarians among them and nonagenarians not being at all uncommon. The mountains surrounding them, while not so high or grand as their native Alps, are sufficiently steep to keep them from being lonely for the sight of their native hills, and none of them has ever returned to Switzerland, although a of them have grown quite wealthy and could go if they wished.
Almost everyone had his own wine cellar. While the dreams of a Swiss city, to be called Bern, had not materialized, the hopes for agricultural prosperity had largely come true. Moreover, the younger generation had been educated in both German and English.7 Free Dating Sites With No Sign Up - Free Online Dating Sites #onlinedating #freedatingsites
When the mechanization of agriculture began to induce massive, nationwide out-migration of farm labor, the young Swiss were in a position to move into the American mainstream. They found the hoped-for prosperity not by maintaining a narrow, ethnic enclave, but by assimilating into the American mainstream. The Colony, however, enabled these Swiss farmers to achieve this assimilation without going through the demeaning experience suffered by immigrants to big cities.
In this sense, the Colony was a definite success. To document this success, we shall follow a few families down to the present. I hope that other families not so covered will send me material about their stories for future printings of this book. The Swiss were good record keepers, and Jackson made use of all the written sources she could find.
Perhaps because the The Coming Nation. April 28,p. Translations have been made for this volume and put in the main text, while the German originals have gone into appendices. The text has been very lightly edited for smoother reading or factual correction at a few points. I have added a few footnotes and comments; they appear within square brackets. Where these added passages express opinions not necessarily shared by Jackson, I have ed them Ed. Perhaps I should say a word about how I came to be interested in Gruetli. I grew up spending summers there and remember Swiss Colony cheese as a special treat.
My wife, Joan, and I try to spend a few weeks every summer in the cottage.
We went and were surprised to find ourselves the only German speakers present. We were asked to look at several old documents and became interested in knowing more. I obtained a copy of the Jackson thesis and realized that, with its long quotations in untranslated German, it was not ac cessible to many who would be most interested.
So arose the idea for this publication. LaDora Mayes Rose, a Wichser descendant, offers 7 vivid memories of childhood visits to Gruetli and a fascinating of the discovery of her family's history back the the s in Schwanden, Switzerland. Greeter, Albert J. Russ Buchan of the Tracy City Business Council scanned the original copy and put in all the German umlaut letters by hand.
Birgit Meade carefully proofread the text, including the German. Jackie Suter Lawley also proofread the English part of the text at a late stage, and corrected some of the material on the Suter family. John Baggenstoss handled printing. To all these contributors, the Grundy County Swiss Historical Society and the editor are most grateful.Adult dating in gruetlilaager tennessee
email: [email protected] - phone:(547) 166-5882 x 3080
The Swiss Colony at Gruetli - Frances Helen Jackson