Over one million people in the United States and Canada claim Swiss ancestry. Whether they immigrated in the 17th century to "New France" (now Quebec), in the 19th century to the wide open spaces of the American heartland, or recently for business reasons, people from all four major cultures of Switzerland have settled in all four corners of the North American continent.
Like most other immigrants, the Swiss came here seeking opportunities. They found them in small towns on the Canadian plains, in Swiss communities of the American Midwest, and in cities from coast to coast. They brought with them their traditions, foods and culture, leaving us an incredible legacy.
Many are unaware that thousands of Swiss immigrants fought in George Washington's Army, and Swiss gunsmiths who settled in Lancaster County Pennsylvania had a major role in developing the rifles used by Washington's men. The Swiss Center of North America will host some of the treasures of these immigrants and help tell their stories.