Touching history at Swiss Days; STGnews Photo Gallery

Swiss Days, Santa Clara, Utah, Sept. 28, 2013 | Photo by Jeremy Crawford, St. George News

SANTA CLARA – Since 1990, the people of Santa Clara have held Swiss Days annually in commemoration of the the city’s heritage.  This year, the weeklong festival included dedications, dinners, walks, entertainment, exhibits and festivities all centered around the theme “Flood, Mud and Helping Hands.”

Santa Clara was settled by Swiss Pioneers in 1861 and many of those families extend today. Its history of coming together in the face of adversity added a chapter over the past year when areas of the city were flooded due to the dike breaching at Laub Pond Dam on September 11, 2012, damaging homes and businesses. People came together, neighbor helped neighbor, there was rebuilding and restoration.  But neither last year’s flood nor the flood of 2005 before it in recent past were novel to Santa Clara. Water and drought and a long-suffering community are woven through the city’s history and retold from generation to generation.

Santa Clara resident Denise Laswell Webster said:

My ancestors settled the area, so we’ve been around here since 1861.   My great grandmother, Barbara Staheli Graf, was the first baby born to the Swiss Settlers in Santa Clara on Dec. 25, 1861.  She and her mother were rescued by Jacob Hamblin from the flood.  We never could understand how a flood could wash away the fort until 2005 when we saw it firsthand.  I felt I touched history that day.

For our family, this little valley means everything.  It is a blossom in the desert carved from hard work, thrift, and a cheerful disposition.  They struggled so much in those first days in the hot sweltering sun with crops dying.  But it didn’t take long for them to create a beautiful little valley, free from debt and self-sustaining.  The people here today still show that same faith, integrity and work ethic.  It’s a blessing to be from Santa Clara!

 

 

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery. 

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Swiss Days, Santa Clara, Utah, Sept. 28, 2013 | Photo by Jeremy Crawford, St. George News
Swiss Days, Santa Clara, Utah, Sept. 28, 2013 | Photo by Jeremy Crawford, St. George News

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