Roads to Appalachia through Belgium and the Germanic Roots of Western Germany & Northern Switzerland

Roads to Appalachia through Belgium
and the Germanic Roots of Western Germany & Northern Switzerland

July 08 – 20, 2011
Itinerary & Application
 
Sponsored by the Frank & Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center Arrangements by National Travel In Summer 2011, the “Roads to Appalachia through Study-Travel Abroad” will travel to Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland in search of our region’s connections to these root areas. As part of the largest and earliest ethnic population in America, the Germans settled in eastern and northern “western” (West) Virginia by the early to mid 18th Century, primarily emigrating from the Rhineland-Palatinate region of western Germany. By the mid 19th Century, German Swiss settlements were being made throughout central West Virginia, with the Aargau Region of Switzerland populating the small West Virginia mountain village of Helvetia. Among the heavy wave of settlers into Central Appalachia during the early 20th Century’s Industrial Revolution, many glassworkers came from Belgian cities, such as Charleroi. Settling throughout West Virginia, these Europeans brought with them varied skills, traditions, customs, storytelling, and other folkloric elements that are still being perpetuated in parts of Central Appalachia.

    A 2011 Spring Semester course, “Roads to Appalachia through Belgium and the Germanic roots of Western Germany and Northern Switzerland,” will be offered for those traveling to the European Countries during the Summer of 2011. Two local texts have been chosen to accent this course including Gerald Milnes’ Signs, Cures, and Witchery: German Appalachian Folklore, and David H. Sutton’s Helvetia: The History of a Swiss Village in the Mountains of West Virginia. This special “Study-Travel Abroad” program will be led and hosted by Dr. Judy Prozzillo Byers, Director, and Noel W. Tenney, Cultural Specialist, both of the Folklife Center.

Contact Info

The Frank and Jane Gabor
West Virginia Folklife Center

on the campus of Fairmont State University
1201 Locust Avenue
Fairmont, WV 26554
(304) 367-4403
wvfolklife@fairmontstate.edu


Dr. Judy P. Byers
Dr. Judy P. Byers
, Director Frank & Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center,
  Abelina Suarez Professor, Senior Level,
  English & Folklore Studies
Fairmont State University
(304) 367-4286
jbyers@fairmontstate.edu
 


 

FSUNow Stories

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A special presentation at the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center on Sunday, March 22, will provide information on protecting and preserving our material culture. The event also will celebrate the closing of the exhibit, “Hanging by a Beautiful Thread: Celebrating the Fiber Arts,” which highlights the beauty in traditional fiber arts created in the home.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

A collection of books on Irish folklore has been donated to the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center in memory of Fairmont State University alumna Holly White.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

In celebration of Fairmont State University’s Sesquicentennial, the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center plans to create an exhibit featuring FSU history and traditions this spring.

“The Folklife Center is proud to celebrate the history, traditions and culture of this great University through a special exhibit. We need assistance from the Falcon family to identify artifacts that would help share the stories and lore of the past 150 years,” said Dr. Judy P. Byers, Executive Director of the Folklife Center.

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