Rural Heritage Tour
culture to be
featured in Vevay area event
activities will be explored
VEVAY, IND. (October 2012) Enjoy the family
life and culture of two French-Swiss families spanning more than 50
years in early Switzerland County at the upcoming Rural Heritage Tour.
The Switzerland County Historical Society and Musee de Venoge will play
host to its first collaborative event from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday,
Oct. 13, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14.
October event will feature
tours of the Thiebaud Farm
(above) and Venoge (below) in
Switzerland County, Ind.
The tour will include Musee de Venoge (c. 1805-15) and
the Thiebaud Farmstead (1817-1860). Come sample hearth and outdoor French
style bake oven cooking, walk in a kitchen garden, talk with period
re-enactors and learn about their trades.
While the two sites were once considered eye-sores, they
are both now listed on the National Register of Historic Sites and Places.
Both were vacant properties that have been revitalized through historic
preservation. The process of restoration and the research into the history
of the houses is remarkable and will be shared during the tour.
Visitors may start the tour at either site. The Thiebaud Farmstead is
located at 5147 E. State Road 56, three miles west of Vevay, along the
Ohio River. Venoge is located at 111 State Road 129, approximately one
mile north of State Route 56 just west of Vevay. Admission is free,
but donations are greatly appreciated.
The Rural Heritage Tour honors the rural heritage that founded Switzerland
County and showcases two sites that show a high level of stewardship
towards preserving rural architecture.
Venoge is a 30-acre tract of the Louis Gex-Oboussier farmstead, which
formed a portion of the original 1802 French-Swiss Settlement. The Gex-Oboussier
farmstead gives us a picture of early 19th century Switzerland County,
Ind., through an architecture that mirrors the lives of its inhabitants.
The unique French architecture at Venoge with its timber frame poteaux-sur-sol
and the brick noggin illustrates features that serve as ethnic markers,
revealing the identity of the people who built the structure and where
they came from. Venoge is named for the creek that bounds the property,
which in turn, is named for a river in Switzerland.
The Thiebaud farmstead was settled in 1817 by Frederick and Harriet
Thiebaud who emigrated from Switzerland with their eight children. Their
youngest son, Justi, and his wife, Mary, became the second generation
to live on the 165-acre farmstead that was part of southeast Indianas
hay culture. A restored hay press barn will eventually be part of the
site. The sites two-story frame vernacular Greek Revival house
was built in the late 1850s over the stone cellar foundation of the
The two sites had different goals with regard to restoration. Musee
de Venoge does not have electricity, heat or water and uses heating
and lighting sources common to 1815. The Thiebaud house is intended
to be used throughout the year for a variety of functions, so modern
conveniences have been utilized but are unobtrusive.
Come see for yourself the many possibilities that preservation offers.
The fall season is a perfect time to enjoy the natural beauty of the
area and a leisurely weekend in Switzerland County.
For more information, visit www.switzcomuseums.org
or call the Switzerland County Historical Society at (812) 427-3560
or Venoge at (812) 593-5726.
Back to October 2012