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


Pat Musick
Pat Musick
, Interim Director
Frank & Jane Gabor WV Folklife Center
(304) 333-3606
pmusick@fairmontstate.edu
 


 

FSUNow Stories

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Two of West Virginia’s Biggest Liars join forces for a night of larger than life tales at the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State University. Jacob Hall of Ripley (Biggest Liar 2016) and James Froemel of Morgantown (Biggest Liar 2015) will take the floor at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, to share stories of renegade possums, disastrous bowling trips and more. The program is family friendly and admission is $5.

Froemel is the winner of the 2015 West Virginia “Biggest Liar” contest and 2015 Ripley WV “Fibbin’ on the 4th” competition.

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Friday, April 15, 2016

The West Virginia Storytelling Guild, in conjunction with the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center, is presenting the concert, “What Tales to Tell!” with national storyteller Lynette Ford at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 29, at the Folklife Center on the campus of Fairmont State University.

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Friday, March 18, 2016

Storyteller and spoken word artist, Ellouise Schoettler will perform two programs in April as part of a Celebration of Women’s History at Fairmont State University.

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