Experience, explore history during Bicentennial events


Experience history through a combination of engaging events while celebrating the Vevay, Switzerland County Bicentennial.

From the time honored art of quilts to period entertainment to pioneer homesteads, three special events will provide a sensory look into our unique history.

– Begin your experience with a “Patchwork of History” that features a quilt show spanning over 100 years along with history displays of social and service organizations that have a long term history in the county. The opening reception will be Friday, October 4th from 4-7 p.m. at the Switzerland County Technology and Education Center at 708 West Seminary Street in Vevay.

“Patchwork of History” will continue on Saturday, October 5th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday October 6th from noon to 5 p.m.

– An old-fashioned tent “Chautauqua” will take center stage on Saturday, October 5th at 2 p.m. on the Switzerland County Historical Museum grounds at 208 East Market Street. Vevay actively participated in the social sensation once popular throughout rural America known as the Chautauqua, which included guest speakers on social and political issues of the time and a variety of entertainment.

The most popular of all Chautauqua speakers, William Jennings Bryan, spoke in Vevay in 1917. So the Bicentennial Chautauqua will feature a return visit from Mr. Bryan, along with a local suffragette, music, dance and comedic relief of the era.

Visitors are encouraged to don appropriate attire for the time and mingle at the tea following the performance.

– The “Rural Heritage Tour” takes place the following weekend, honoring the rural heritage that founded Switzerland County. The second annual “Rural Heritage Tour” showcases three sites that exhibit a high level of stewardship towards preserving rural architecture.

The tour includes Musee de Venoge; the Thiebaud Farmstead; and the Garland Farm. The self-guided tour can start at any of the three sites on Saturday, October 12th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday the 13th from noon to 5 p.m.


Musee de Venoge (111 State Road 129) and the Thiebaud Farmstead (5147 East State Road 56) are revitalized properties that had both suffered from extended periods of being vacant. Both are now listed on the National Register of Historic Sites and are house museums. Period trades, music, domestic arts and hearth cooking will be part of the happenings at both locations.

Military demonstrations will take place at both sites, with an 1812 muster at Venoge and a Civil War encampment at the Thiebaud site.

A traditional Ox Roast similar to one the early Swiss held on the Court House grounds will also be part of the festivities at Venoge.

The third site on the “Rural Heritage Tour” is the Garland Farm (2767 Garland Road), a modern dairy farm devoted to producing organic, grass-fed dairy products from their Jersey herd. Their modern operation is on a family farm with a house originally built in 1836 and an old scissor-truss barn that still sees a lot of activity.


No admission is charged for “Patchwork of History”, “Chautauqua”, or the “Rural Heritage Tour”. For those wishing to enjoy the Ox Roast dinner, there is a charge of $11. The dinner will be held at Musee de Venoge, and dessert will be served at the Thiebaud Homestead.

A myriad of other experiences and activities are part of the Vevay, Switzerland County Bicentennial Celebration. For details visit www.vevaybicentennial.org.