About This Place
Helvetia is an unincorporated census-designated place in Randolph County, West Virginia, United States. As of the 2010 census, its population was 59. The isolated community was settled by Swiss starting in 1869, and is known today for maintaining Swiss traditions, food, and folkways.
After the end of the Civil War, a group of Swiss and German-speaking immigrants calling themselves the Gruetli Verein formed in Brooklyn, New York. The members agreed that they would all emigrate to another section of the country together when the time was right.
A member of the society named Isler surveyed large swaths of the eastern West Virginia mountains for a Washington-based firm, and reported back to the society on the richness of the country. A committee of six men was assembled, and left Brooklyn by rail on October 15, 1869. They arrived at Clarksburg and began the difficult work of traveling by foot over the mountains.