A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 27, 2016
West Virginia: Switzerland of America (nickname)

Many areas with mountains in the United States have been dubbed a “Switzerland of America.” “The Green mountains of Vermont, the Switzerland of America” was cited in 1835. New Hampshire was called a “Switzerland of America” in 1842.

West Virginia was called a “Switzerland of America” in 1876 and in 1877. A state nickname list in 1896 called West Virginia the “Switzerland of America.” The book West Virginia, “the Switzerland of America” was published in 1926. The West Virginia nickname is still occasionally used.


Google Books
January 1835, The Knickerbocker; Or, New-York Monthly Magazine, “Our Own Country,” pg. 51:
And then introduce him to the busy, humming, thriving population of New England, from the Green mountains of Vermont, the Switzerland of America, and the northern lakes and wide seacoast of Maine.

7 January 1842, Boston (MA) Morning Post, “Hon. Edmund Burke’s Speech,” pg. 1, col. 6:
New Hampshire is, indeed, throned among the hills She is the Switzerland of America.

OCLC WorldCat record
The Switzerland of America. : A summer vacation in the parks and mountains of Colorado.
Author: Samuel Bowles; Samuel Bowles and Company,; American News Company,; Lee and Shepard,
Publisher: Springfield, Mass.: : Samuel Bowles & Company. ; New York: : The American News Company. ; Boston: : Lee & Shepard., 1869.
Edition/Format: Print book : Biography : English

30 September 1870, Richmond (WV) Whig and Advertiser, “Sweet Chalybeate Springs,” pg. 1, col. 4:
Yet, above all other seasons of the year, this is the pleasantest and most delightful to view the mountain regions of old Virginia—the Switzerland of America.

5 May 1874, National Republican (Washington, DC), “Tennessee,” pg. 4, col. 4:
East Tennessee has some of the most charming mountain scenery in the world, and it has well been called the Switzerland of America.

24 August 1876, Cincinnati (OH) Daily Enquirer, “West Virginia Letter” by Bohemian, pg. 2, col. 2:
Our sympathies go out to you, boys, and wish sincerely you were with us in our wanderings among the babbling brooks and verdant fields of the Switzerland of America.

12 May 1877, Wheeling (WV) Daily Register, ‘Morgantown for Charleston,” pg. 1, col. 2:
It will cost at least a million dollars to build a State House—such as our “Switzerland of America” will need fifty years hence—and our people are not now in a financial condition to put up such a structure.

OCLC WorldCat record
Grand excursion to “the Switzerland of America,” (Mauch Chunk) and around the famous Switch Back Railroad : Thursday, Sept. 12th, 1872 ...
Author: P T E Smith
Publisher: [Wilmington, Del.?] : P.T.E. Smith, manager, [1872]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
“The Switzerland of America.” A popular guide book to the scenery of New Hampshire, describing her mountains, lakes, rivers and seacoast, and the routes of travel by which they are reached, with a chapter on Montreal and Quebec.
Author: William C Gage
Publisher: Manchester, N.H. C.F. Livingston, 1875.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Prospectus of the San Francisco, Clear Lake & Humboldt Railroad : and a description of Lake County, California : “The Switzerland of America” : climate, attractions and resources
Author: San Francisco, Clear Lake and Humboldt Railroad,
Publisher: Chicago : The J. M. W. Jones Stationery and Printing Company, 1887.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

Google Books
U. S.
An Index to the United States of America

Compiled by Malcolm Townsend
Boston, MA: D. Lothrop Company
1890
Pg. 71:
NICKNAMES OF THE STATES.
(...)
New Hampshire...Switzerland of America...In reference to an imagined similarity in mountain scenery.

OCLC WorldCat record
Summit Spring House (On Hill Top) Poland, Maine : Switzerland of America.
Author: Geo H Davis
Publisher: [S.I.] : [publisher not identified], [1890-1899]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

3 June 1896, The Morning Herald (Lexington, KY), “The Nicknames of Twenty-Eight States of the Union,” pg. 6, col. 3:
West Virginia, in allusion to its mountainous territory, has been not inaptly denominated “The Switzerland of America.”

OCLC WorldCat record
Canadian Rockies, the Switzerland of America.
Author: Stephen J Thompson
Publisher: [Vancouver?] : [S.J. Thompson], [1904?]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
The White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Switzerland of America A souvenir and guide book
Author: J V Hartman
Publisher: Portland, ME : J.V. Hartman, approximately 1920.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Gateway to the Shenandoah Valley : often called the Little Switzerland of America
Author: Kiwanis Club (Charles Town, W. Va.)
Publisher: Charles Town, W. Va. : [publisher not identified], [19--?]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
West Virginia “the Switzerland of America” : a brief guide for tourists to some of its many scenic and historic places
Author: Ross B Johnston; West Virginia. Department of Agriculture.
Publisher: Charleston, W. Va. : West Virginia Dept. of Agriculture, 1926.
Series: Bulletin / West Virginia. Dept. of Agriculture, no. 66
Edition/Format: Print book : State or province government publication : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Ouray—the gem city of the Rockies in the Switzerland of America.
Author: Ouray County Chamber of Commerce.
Publisher: [Ouray, Colo.] : [Ouray County Chamber of Commerce], [1957]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

Google Books
A Darkness at Dawn:
Appalachian Kentucky and the Future

By Harry M. Caudill
Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky
1976
Pg. 43:
West Virginia calls itself the Switzerland of America but the comparison is grotesque. The state could have been a new Switzerland if its inhabitants had possessed the leadership, wisdom, and ambition to take it along that kind of constructive road.

OCLC WorldCat reord
Switzerland Of America, Gauley Bridge
Author: James Deahl
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: Appalachian Heritage, v35 n1 (2007): 68
Database: CrossRef

Google Books
Focus on American English & Culture
By Pierfranca Forchini
EDUCatt - Ente per il diritto allo studio universitario dell’Universit√† Cattolica
2014
Pg. 54:
West Virginia is one of the states which attempted to lay claim to the Switzerland of America, but is more usually known (including on license plates) as the Mountain State

Posted by Barry Popik
Other ExpressionsOther States • Wednesday, January 27, 2016 • Permalink