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New Glarus

Trip Planner USA  /  Wisconsin  /  New Glarus
(3.9/5 based on 550 reviews for 4 attractions)
Things to do: breweries, historic sites, shopping
New Glarus is a village in Green County, Wisconsin, United States at the intersection of Wisconsin Highways 69 and 39. It has a population of 2,172 according to the 2010 census. Since 2000 it has had a population growth of 2.9 percent. The village, and the town that surrounds it, were named after the canton of Glarus in eastern Switzerland. The community was founded in 1845 by immigrants from that canton and was incorporated in 1901.HeritageNew Glarus is a popular tourist destination best known for its Swiss heritage, old world architecture, ethnic dining, small independently owned craft brewery, and outdoor festivals.More than 160 years after it was founded, New Glarus has maintained much of its Swiss heritage and old world traditions. Swiss-style chalets and flower boxes filled with red geraniums grace the streets of the village and Swiss flags fly next to the American flag at many businesses and homes. Old World meat markets, restaurants, and a Swiss bakery are also found in downtown New Glarus, along with folk art, museums, and Swiss-style shops. Many Swiss customs are still alive in New Glarus, including the card game Jass, yodeling, and flag tossing. Today New Glarus is the best known Swiss settlement in America.HistoryComing to AmericaIn the early 1840s, after several years of failed crops and as food became scarce, much of the canton of Glarus in Switzerland found itself deep in poverty. With more workers than available jobs, the government of the canton saw emigration to America as a solution. Authorities established the Glarus Emigration Society in 1844, which offered loans to help residents purchase land in the New World. All other expenses associated with the voyage to America were to be paid by the emigrants themselves. Men were offered 20acre free of rent for ten years, after which they could own the land for a mere ten shillings per acre. Given the desperate economic conditions in Switzerland, 193 volunteers decided to leave their homeland to start anew in America.
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