History

Imperial Valley Press news article

The 1st Swiss arrived in the Imperial Valley as early as 1901. Many more were lured to the West by the stories of cheap land on which to farm or have a dairy. As the Swiss population grew so did their need to have a social center. The first local Swiss-style wrestling match or Schwingfest was held at the McKim Ranch on March 13, 1921. Karl Von Moos was the winner of that first Imperial Valley Schwingfest. The Swiss Club was formed in 1924 and the club house was started in 1927. One can still dance on the original dance floor that was laid prior to construction of the building. On November 21, 1939 the Swiss Club of Imperial Valley was incorporated. The first directors were Paul Eggler, Albert Muller, Marguerite Omlin, Hilda Durrer, Hans Wisler and Fred Strahm. The first club president was Joe Enz Sr.

Today the Schwingfests charm visitors and it warms the hearts of the Swiss descendants who live here. Everyone enjoys the day! The Swiss dress, with its intricate embroideries, often of edelweiss in bloom, the colorful cantonal flags, the flag twirling, yodeling, and sound of the alphorn. The Swiss Club Band is the oldest in the state and enhances the wrestling with lively musical selections. The club is active all year, with occasional family-oriented events, parties, dinners and dances, spring dance, Swiss independence day, a Christmas party and Swiss tour groups. The Swiss Club frequently caters dinners and banquets.

Today, after 93 years the traditions of the original Swiss founders live on.

Please visit the Pioneers' Museum webpage to learn more about the Swiss Immigrants and other groups that have settled in the Imperial Valley.

Honorary Members

  • Mr. Joe Wirtz*
  • Mr. & Mrs. Joe Enz, Sr.*
  • Mr. & Mrs. Anton Iten*
  • Mr. & Mrs. Fred Strahm*
  • Mr. & Mrs. Julius Hofer Sr.*
  • Mr. & Mrs. Theo Ming, Sr.*
  • Mr. & Mrs. Clem Muller, Sr.*
  • Mr. & Mrs. K. Omlin*
  • Mr. & Mrs. John Durrer*
  • Mr. & Mrs. Werner Hofer*
  • Mr. Bob Gasser*
  • Mr. Hans Gehrig*
  • Mr. & Mrs. Joe Anderholt*
  • Mr. & Mrs. Fred Ritter*
  • Ms. Marty Morris*
  • Mr. Fritz Heuberger*
  • Mrs. Leni (Fritz) Heuberger
  • Mr. Ernie Strahm*
  • Mrs. Esther (Ernie) Strahm
  • Mr. & Mrs. Joe Muller*
  • Mr. & Mrs. Hans Frank*
  • Mr. & Mrs. Tony Pitardi*
  • Ms. Charlotte Johnston
  • Mr. Carl Rubin*
  • Mrs. Catherine (Carl) Rubin
  • Mr. & Mrs. Harold Hawk*
  • Mr. & Mrs. Walter Strahm
  • Mrs. Linda (Walter) Britschgi Jr.*
  • Mr. Walter Britschgi Jr.
  • Mr. Henry Felchlin*
  • Mrs. Virginia (Henry)Felchlin
  • Mr. & Mrs. Joe Omlin
  • Ms. Christina Vogel
  • Ms. Elsa Steiner*
  • Mr. & Mrs. Hans Vogel Sr.
  • Ms. Rosemarie Von Flue
  • Ms. Rosemary Enz Auf Der Maur
  • Ms. Marguerite Martin

* Deceased