BERNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - Welcome to Berne, Indiana -- or should I say Berne, Switzerland? This town is proud of its Swiss heritage.
Ernie Steiner is the interim executive director of the Swiss Heritage Village and he told us that "Berne was founded in the middle of the 1800s by Swiss immigrants."
The Swiss Heritage Village shows us how the Swiss made their living back in the day -- and it wasn't easy.
"Because of the Swiss, their farming was their main source of income. I mean when they came to Indiana that was the only way, they grew their own food, and brought their own dairy cows," said Penny Wiseman, a tour guide for Swiss Heritage Village.
The Swiss dairy cow produced so much milk, they used the extra to make their own cheese. To be a cheesemaker wasn't to lead a glamourous life.
"Usually the cheesemaker was not married and he's usually a young man. He wasn't married because cheesemakers spent about ten to twelve hours making cheese," said Wiseman.
The Swiss presence is still felt today in the town. Penny told us when she first moved here from Decatur, three of her neighbors spoke Swiss. She said she tried speaking the same language that is predominant among the Swiss (German) and wasn't any good.
It's a town that feels like Switzerland without the passport. Another reason why Life's Better Here.