Friday, October 28, 2011

Return to Helvetia

Carole and I love to visit small towns when we go to West Virginia. The state is home to some truly wonderful small villages, many of which we have toured and a few of which we found so charming we have to go back to them.

One of these places that drew us back was Helvetia. This little spot is very tiny, even by most ways one would measure a town. However, it's truly a grand place in so many other ways. Settled in 1869 by mainly Swiss and German immigrants, it retains to this day that Germanic quality if not by descent, then definitely by design. If I ever could, I'd live there. The place exudes charm and peacefulness, and shines with natural beauty and with the careful hand of its modern inhabitants.

If you get the chance, I heartily recommend a trip to Helvetia where time is in a holding pattern, where a hearty appetite can be satisfied, and where silence and calm are constant companions.

One of the great shops in Helvetia.

Sign for The Hutte, the signature restaurant and business of the village.

The food in this place is absolutely wonderful. Bring your appetite. They serve traditional German and Swiss fare in addition to other types of meals. If you go on Sunday, they recommend reservations. We arrived on a Sunday without such, but they fit us in. The place was packed to capacity, but they found time to find us a spot at a table and to make us feel most welcome.

The buffet board in our section of the dining room the Sunday we were there. The food was great! My favorite was the traditional kraut. My goodness, it was delicious!

A brief look into one of the other dining rooms. That one was where we ate the first time we visited The Hutte years before.

Dance hall where performances are regularly held. Quiet the day we were there.

The bridge leading across the creek to the public library and the history museum.

This has to be the single coolest looking library in North America. It has expanded a tad since we were last there.

The local history museum. It has never been open when we were there, so Carole took the occasion to peek through the windows.

This place was once owned by the town. When we last visited, the place was the subject of sealed bids. Someone landed it and now it's a private home.

The general store and post office of Helvetia, WV.

The post office. I'm not sure what the busts were all about, but I assume it was part of a historical representation.

Helvetia WV souvenir clothing. Another of the busts. I should have asked who the sculptures represented, but I was too busy taking photographs.

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