Helvetia, West Virginia
Helvetia is my adopted home hamlet in the mountains of West Virginia. I moved to Helvetia in 1975 when I took my first teaching job at nearby Pickens High School. I fell in love with the tiny, isolated village. Helvetia has about 40 residents, most of whom are descendants of the original Swiss settlers. In fact, I am related to some of the original settlers through my grandmother whose parents immigrated to the Ohio Valley from Switzerland in the 1880's. I have been a member of the Helvetia Folk Dancers for over 20 years. The folk dancers perform many Swiss folk dances. We have danced at several events each year, including the Vandalia Festival which is held annually in Charleston, West Virginia.
Helvetia was settled in 1869. We continue to celebrate many traditions that the first settlers brought from Europe, including Fastnacht which is celebrated the Saturday before Ash Wednesday, Swiss Independence Day, August 1st, and the Helvetia Community Fair which is held the second full weekend in September. Come and see the lovely village that the first citizens of Helvetia carved out of the West Virginia mountains.
Zion Presbyterian Church The Hütte Restaurant The Gift Shop The sign honoring the first settlers
Helvetia Folk Dancers
Betty Biggs and Woody Higginbotham Louise Malcomb and Woody Higginbotham
Helvetia Folk Dancers at the Swiss Embassy, July, 2000.