Company's coming to Swiss Heritage Village

Authored by Jim Langham on Mar 30, 2012

Swiss Heritage Village executive director Doug Milligan recalls that when he was an official at the Jay County Fair, he used to tell those in charge of the grounds that "company's coming," just a short time before the start of the fair. The gist of the comment, said Milligan, was a throwback to the days when people used to make that comment when they had visitors coming to their home for a stay or for a meal.
"People used to say, 'we'd better clean this place up because company's coming,'" said Milligan. "It's time to clean the place up and get ready."
Milligan is putting out the same plea for volunteers to assist with clean up and preparation for the Swiss Heritage Village grounds, especially since some early visitors are coming to the village this spring.
On Friday, April 20, a significant delegation from a Swiss Anabaptist group who are attending a national convention in Fort Wayne, will be touring the village as part of a field trip while they are in the area.
Chris Pulver, who is in charge of entertaining the group in the local area explained that the delegation visits different parts of the country each year, usually at or close to areas with Swiss ancestry.
"When Swiss Anabaptists first came to this area in 1818, most of them came from Kidron in Wayne County, Ohio," said Pulver. "This is basically a genealogy group that meets at a different place every year. There will probably be 50 or so that come on this tour. Last year they met in Goshen.
"This year they are meeting in Fort Wayne. They are excited about coming down here. These people have roots in Switzerland," added Pulver.
Also in April, a group will be coming from Taylor University to film a documentary. Milligan said that the group is looking to film in a setting with a backdrop similar to that of Swiss Heritage Village.
"People will be dressed in vintage documents and will be filming a special documentary on the grounds on April 28," said Milligan.
Starting May 5, the village will be open each Saturday in May until June 1 when it will open on a daily basis through fall, except on Sundays.
Other highlights for the summer will include the annual Haystack Luncheon on June 10; Swiss Days at the Village on July 26-28; Monroe Lions Truck and Tractor Pull, August 25; Heritage Festival, Sept. 7 and 8 and Christmas Eve services at the Baumgartner Church on Dec. 28.
Other special cleaning Saturdays are scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon on April 21. Special emphasis for cleaning the renovated Swiss Heritage Museum is on April 21 and 28.
"Right now there is major renovation going on inside the museum," said Milligan.
"We're hoping that we'll be ready to re-organize by near the end of April. We are going to need people to help reposition displays, clean all artifacts and repair or reprint signage."
In addition this season, village officials are offering a three-hour school tour program for those in grades two through five. Tour hours will be from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tours will be offered between April and June and September and October.
"All facilities and historic buildings are handicap accessible," commented Milligan.
"Students are welcome to bring sack lunches and eat in our barn or on our grassy lawn. Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather."
Tours will include visits to the Luginbill Farm House with garden and orchard, the Yager School and the White Pioneer Log Cabin. Milligan said that students would spend 20-25 minutes at each historical site. Between locations, students are invited to try games from the 19th century.
For information or questions concerning any of the early activities, contact Milligan at 260-589-8007 or dougmilligan@swissheritage.org.

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