Helvetia is located at the headwaters of the Buckhannon River in southwest Randolph County. In October of 1869, a six person scouting party visited the area. The first thirteen immigrants arrived in the small isolated valley in December of that year. By 1880 the number of residents was 407. In addition to farmers and herdsmen, there were stonemasons, carpenters, painters; wagon, watch, hat and cheese makers; musicians, teachers, ministers and doctors. The timber industry began when the Chemical-Helvetia Railroad was built in 1915. The railroad supplied the Buckhannon Chemical Company, near Selbyville, with hardwoods until the mid 1920's. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad came to nearby Pickens in 1892. Logging, which has had many ups and downs, continues to be a major part of the local economy. Since World War II, coal mining has also played a major part in the economy of Helvetia. Telephone service began in 1912 and electricity arrived in 1939. After World War II, the roads to Mill Creek and French Creek were paved. The first settlers established a German Evangelical Reformed Church in 1873. That church became Zion Presbyterian Church in 1947. The Hütte Restaurant was opened in 1967 and Helvetia celebrated its Centennial in 1969. Tourism has developed over the years since the '69 Centennial.
Beekeeper Inn Library, Museum
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