History of New Glarus & NGSD

History of New Glarus

"New Glarus is located in the heart of Green County in Southern Wisconsin.  It's rolling hills dotted with small towns, farms, and woodland pastures are much like the alpine farmlands of Glarus, Switzerland.  When you arrive at the village entrance, you will quickly understand it's popularity as a destination.  New Glarus is America's "Little Switzerland."

"For over 150 years, the beautiful little community of New Glarus, Wisconsin has been a magnet for Swiss settlers.  New Glarus was originally settled by a hardy band of 108 Swiss pioneers in 1845 who left the Canton of Glarus in Switzerland during an economic crisis.  Since then, succeeding generations and a steady stream of new Swiss immigrants have kept alive the community's Swiss- German language, folk traditions, and music.  This remarkable mix of old and new Swiss in New Glarus - plus an enduring dedication to preserving ties with the homeland has made this little town a unique place to live, work, and visit."                                       

 -New Glarus Chamber of Commerce

History of the New Glarus School District

The New Glarus School District has been up and running since 1878.  The local church ran the very first school.

Historical Timeline of Green County's Swiss Colony

Interesting historic events:

  • In 1905, a proposal was presented to the people of New Glarus that limburger cheese be "declared legal tender for the payment of all debts and a medium of exchange throughout the district."
    -Sperling's Best Places 
  • Three Amish students who stopped attending high school in New Glarus were the basis of Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972), where the United States Supreme Court found that compulsory education past 8th grade did not apply to Amish children, as it violated their fundamental right to freedom of religion.

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