Term: New Glarus (Historic Marker Erected 1962)
Hwy. 69, New Glarus, Green County
In 1845 the Emigration society of the Canton of Glarus, Switzerland, sent Nicholas Duerst and Fridolin Streiff to the United States to purchase land for a Swiss settlement. They were joined in August by 108 settlers who began their homesteads on 1280 acres of farm and timber land bordering the Little Sugar River. The first years were hard and it was not until April, 1850, that the town was organized. Then New Glarus began to prosper; in 1851 the first store opened, in 1853 the first hotel and in 1870 the first cheese factory. By 1892 the population had increased to 600. The culture of Old Glarus has not been forgotten; the Swiss German dialect is still spoken and the traditional holidays are observed.
View the diary of Mathias Duerst at Wisconsin Historical Collections.
[Source: Source: McBride, Sarah Davis. History Just Ahead (Madison:WHS, 1999).]