Via Bitter Southerner:
Story by Emily Hilliard | Photographs by Gabe DeWitt | Video by Coat of Arms
This story was more than a year in the making. Emily Hilliard, the founder of the West Virginia Folklife Program based at the West Virginia Humanities Council, came to us wanting to document an entire year in one of the South’s most interesting small towns — Helvetia, West Virginia, population 59. In a high mountain valley “an hour from anywhere,” the little town sustains the traditions of the Swiss immigrants who settled there in 1869. Emily gave us a glorious look at Helvetia’s seasonal celebrations — and a deep understanding of how this isolated community draws strength from its land, its history, and its people.