Bookstore: Recommended Books
Güggelhansen-Gaden - Landschaftsnamen erzählen Geschichten
by Thomas Spälti
The Güggel (rooster) is no longer alive, nor is the Hans, and the Gaden (stable) is also no longer in place. But the name given to this place remains. Güggel-hansen-Gaden is just one example of how names shape the landscape.
On more than 140 pages the author explains in an easily understandable language about 750 names. How did landscape, valleys and mountains, right across Switzerland, get their names? And why do landscape names often mean something other than what we think we hear? For example, the name 'Tubel' does not necessarily refer to a fool, just as Löli does not refer to one, but means 'small forest'. Or read what St. Moritz, Mauritius and Mauritania have in common. Dive into the amazing world of our landscape names. This book unearths surprising, astonishing, but also exhilarating facts and solves many a riddle. Or simply gives answers to questions that you have never asked yourself before. Field names are landscape and place names. They provide information about the location and shape of a plot of land, the quality of the soil and the expected yield, about ownership and type of use, about animals and plants, about peculiarities in the terrain and much more.
Copies of the book are available from
Sie heisst es da? Die Flurnamen der Gemeinde Glarus. Ennenda-Glarus-Riedern-Netstal
by Thomas Spälti, Andi Lienhard, Fritz Marti, Peter Staub
Field names tell about the history of our habitat and our ancestors. Sometimes they have an ancient meaning, which is hidden behind the superficial meaning. But they can also be newly created and remind of people or incidents. Field names offer orientation, but also give valuable clues to settlement-historical, economic, political, social, legal, religious, geological-geographical, climatic conditions and circumstances of the nearer and more distant past.
For the municipality of Glarus there are now about 2000 field and local names. The reader receives a comprehensible introduction to the world of names. In addition to the interpretations, there are many interesting stories to read and the double-page map tables round off this comprehensive work.
Copies of the book are available from
Garibaldis Fuss - Aus dem Leben des Homöopathen Samuel Zopfy 1804-1890
by Emil Zopfi
A Glarus country doctor at the bedside of the «Grande Consulto».
When he lived in the canton of Glarus, the author Emil Zopfi received at a small amount of money from the Zopfi foundation in Schwanden. Dr. Samuel Zopfy (1804-1890) had decreed that all adult "male and female members of the Zopfi families» living in the canton of Glarus should benefit from the interest of the endowment each year following the centennial year after his death.
In researching another book, Emil Zopfi encountered an interesting story: In October 1862 Dr. Zopfy was called with the most famous doctors of Europe to La Spezia at the bedside of the Italian national hero Giuseppe Garibaldi to discuss his gunshot wound. How did the physician, surgeon, dentist and homeopath from Glarus, who himself was also a farmer, manufacturer and inventor, came to this honor?
With the help of many sources and his imagination, Emil Zopfi tells the story of a poor baker's son who achieved wealth and reputation as a physician and homeopath with his education, but felt increasingly misunderstood at the age, especially in his home country.
Lebendiges Glarnerland. Bräuche, Feste, Traditionen
by Susanna Peter-Kubli (Autor) and Sasi Subramaniam (Photograph)
This unique documentary sees itself as a photographic and ethnographic inventory of lived customs. They gathered the most important customs and festivals, reported about their origin, change and present. In addition, the most important culinary specialities are presented, as well as events with a long tradition, which will in the future maybe once belonging to the Glarner customs. Presented are: new year wishes, Caroling, Schiibefleuge, Fridolins fire, Näfelser Fahrt, Landsgemeinde (Cantonal assembly), Kilbi (annual fair), descent from Alpine pastures, Klausmärt (St. Nicolas fair), mountain worship, folk runs, Alpine fire, Braunwald Music Festival, and more.
Baeschlin Verlag (translated by the webmaster)
Herrschaft und Landsgemeinde
by Hans Rudolf Stauffacher
Herrschaft (Sovereignty) and Landsgemeinde (Cantonal assembly)
The power elite in Evangelical Glarus before and after the Helvetic revolution
The book examines the political situation of the Evangelical parts of Glarus during the Absolutism, the Helvetic Republic, the Mediation and the Restoration and the way to break through of the liberal reform and the reunification of the canton in 1836. Special emphasis is placed on the representation of the human composition of the small group of families, which had held the most important political offices in the 18th century. He examines the family relationships, their economic interests etc.
A good book to better understand the government and its instruments in the old Glarus.
by various authors
Unique in Switzerland:
The new Glarus Heimatbuch (homeland book) consists of two parts: the book and the corresponding Internet platform, which can be visited and used free of charge by anyone. The book offers a number of texts on Glarus themes from past and present. Interesting reports are not only found about the Patron Saint Fridolin, the battle of Näfels, and the unfortunate Anna Göldi, but also about high-tech businesses, modern leisure activities and today's artists. It goes without saying that the book also extensively provides information about mountains, valleys, lakes and streams, as well as State institutions such as the Landsgemeinde (Cantonal assembly), the Canton Police Department, or the hospital. The numerous award-winning images are an important part of the very pleasant designed book.
The manifold equipped Internet platform is not least intended for the usage of the homeland book in the classroom. It provides additional information on many topics and countless original tasks that encourage to deal with special topics about Glarus. Here the link to the website.
Glarus und die Schweiz
by Jürg Davatz
Glarus and Switzerland
Sided light on reciprocal relations
The book offers a representative overview of important areas of the history and the present time of Glarus, which are closely related to neighbouring regions, with Switzerland or intertwined with the world. Topics include history and politics, military, economy and social policy, environment and transport, education, culture and sports.
Die Bauernhäuser des Kantons Glarus
by Jost Hösli
The farmhouses of the Canton Glarus
553 illustrations and maps, a color chart and a folding map. This book is a comprehensive inventory of the most important famrmhouses in Glarus.
Stadt in Flammen. Der Brand von Glarus im Jahre 1861
by Walter Hauser
After an emotional Landsgemeinde (Cantonal assembly) a fire broke out on the night of 10/11 May 1861 in the stable next to Councilman Tschudi´s home. Strong foehn (warm wind) blew, and the fire resulted in the biggest disaster of the fledgling State. The fire triggered an unimaginable wave of solidarity in whole Switzerland and abroad. Tons of food, blankets and clothes were delivered by train, the donations reached a record sum. It was the first Glückskette (solidarity) of the fledgling nation. Even the Pope and Emperor Napoleon III. were among the donors. For the first time the fire is represented comprehensively by Glarus in a book: the cause of the fire, the exact sequence of events, the media event (the "Times" in London was at the same time informed as the citizens of Elm informed), the relief operation and the reconstruction. And like with "The judicial murder of Anna Göldi" Walter Hauser has found many new documents, which shows the activities of the fire night in a different light.
In his book, Hauser presents contemporary files from the Federal Archives that have apparently not yet been viewed. In it, two young people from St.Gallen are exposed as suspected arsonists. One of them is said to have confessed to the crime years after the catastrophe. The traces lead up to the Vatican. However, the confession is not beyond all doubt. The suspicion can no longer be proven today, as it probably was back then.
Glarners in America: Stories of Immigrants and Their Descendants from Canton Glarus, Switzerland
(English / German) 2015
Copies of the book are available from
or directly from the autor Bob Elmer in USA who also issues quarterly a very interesting newsletter
New Glarus, founded in 1845, is far from being the only destination for Canton Glarus, Switzerland, immigrants bound for America. Canton Glarus people, known as Glarners, have been living in America from as early as the mid-1700s. Over the years these Glarner immigrants could be found in most all corners of America. It has been a decade-long project of New Glarus native Robert A. Elmer to collect the stories of these Glarner immigrants and their descendants. And now a book entitled “Glarners in America – Stories of Immigrants and their Descendants from Canton Glarus, Switzerland” has been published which has documented these stories. The book contains about 100 short biographical sketches which explain how these people with Canton Glarus roots played a role, whether big or small, in the development of our country. The book, published in collaboration with the Historischer Verein des Kantons Glarus (Historical Society of Canton Glarus), is presented in English and German due to interest on both sides of the Atlantic.
Some examples will provide the wide-ranging scope of these Glarner immigrant/descendant stories. Reverend Abraham Blumer was the minister of the Allentown, Pennsylvania, Zion’s Reformed Church at the time of the American Revolution. Our country’s historic Liberty Bell was hidden beneath the floorboards in Rev. Blumer’s church, saving the bell’s capture from British troops advancing on Philadelphia. Heinrich Lienhard, employed by Captain John Sutter in 1848, was witness to the earliest days of the California gold rush. In the Civil War, Lt. Col. Martin Tschudy, already a third generation Glarner-American, was killed at Gettysburg defending the Union at the very focal point of Pickett’s Charge. And shortly after the war ended, Caspar Knobel and fellow Union comrades captured a fleeing Jefferson Davis.
Represented in the various book’s chapters are entrepreneurs and philanthropists, scientists and educators, and artists and authors, all of whom have Glarner roots. Not all of the biographical sketches are from days long past. Alice Kundert ran for Governor of South Dakota in the 1980s. The presidential yacht U. S. S. Sequoia (on which JFK celebrated his last birthday) was designed and built by John Trumpy. And the recent National Park Service’s Superintendent of the Statue of Liberty and nearby Ellis Island – our iconic monuments to liberty, freedom and immigration – was David Luchsinger, a fourth-generation Glarner-American!
Das Glarnerland / The Canton of Glarus
(German / English) 2017
by Vreni Schiesser-Leuzinger and Daniel Leuzinger
They are represented all over the world, the Leuzingers, Loitzinger, Leitzinger and so on. In the years between 1815 and 1820, 71 men, 16 women and nine children emigrated to Russia alone.
Vreni Schiesser-Leuzinger and Daniel Leuzinger wrote a very interesting book with many stories about Leuzinger families from all over the world, but also with excerpts from old Glarner descriptions and new tips for trips in the old homeland. The book with plenty of illustrations also contains a miniature Glarnertuechli, which was specially produced for this book in an edition of 1000 pieces.
In fact, the emigrants to Russia provide exciting material: According to Fridolin Weber, one in four Netstaler Russia emigrants was at that time a Leuzinger. Johann Rudolf Leuzinger (1844-1914) also emigrated as a 17-year-old. He worked in the area of Voronez as a schnapps burner and later became a brewer's owner in Pyatigorsk in the North Caucasus. As Weber further reported, he founded a theater there and initiated the Caucasus mountain society, "a kind of Swiss Alpine club".
But also in Brazil we find one of the emigrants as a photo pioneer, Georges Leuzinger (1813 to 1892). Born in Wattwil in 1859, Adolph Leuzinger founded Leuzinger High School in Lawndale, California. And Gabriel Leuzinger, born 1862, won for the first time ice from the Klöntalersee. The reference to a Youtube film from 1953 is not missing.
With cartographer Rudolf Leuzinger (1826 to 1896) also one of the creators of the the so-called Siegfried maps is presented.The book - always written in german and English - also tells the story of the hamlet of Leuzingen, from where the Leuzinger families originate.
And "Bill" William Leutzinger from Sugar Creek, Missouri, explained in the book why he had the Leuzinger coat of arms on the right upper arm tattooed.
by Franz Holer
On 9 September 1881 in a small village high up in the Swiss mountains: Little Katharina is sent along with her younger brother to the grandparents. There, both should spend the next few days, until the mother gave birth to her sixth child. But it announces another event. From a slope, some boulders have plunged down into the valley and the whole mountainside could break loose and bury the village below. Nobody wants to believe in that, least of all the workers in the slate mines who feed entire families with their hands. But the mountain leads its own life in Franz Hohler's highly praised novella, which stands in the tradition of the best Swiss literature ...
The novel has the landslide of Elm to the background; it describes the last two days before the catastrophe from the perspective of seven-year-old Katharina Rhyner-Disch (* 1874, † 1959). She lost five siblings, one grandmother and both parents.
Der Balkankönig und seine Familie: Eine andere Geschichte der Schweiz
by Peter Voegeli and Nikolaus Voegeli
Who has a father who has the history of his own family of the last 150 years so present that you get the feeling that he was there from the beginning? The 90-year-old Nikolaus Voegeli and his son, Peter Voegeli, have reconstructed the story of their ancestors from Glarus, who emigrated to Belgrade over a hundred years ago. They were pioneers and successful entrepreneurs: they founded the Banque Serbo-Suisse, sold the Serbian farmers thresher machines and their women Glarner headscarves, modernized the local railway, and one of them even received the name Balkan King. In the wars of the twentieth century, they committed themselves to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the authors clearly succeed in telling this on-the-ground construction work. Although the family had to leave Belgrade in 1946, they made new contacts with Yugoslavia in the 1970s, and two brothers founded the Swiss-Yugoslav Chamber of Commerce.
Based on a wealth of memories and archival research, a different history of Switzerland emerges, a story from the perspective of emigrants. A story of an underestimated connection between the Balkans and Switzerland, embedded in a dramatic 20th century. And a personal story of father and son.
Copies of the book are
New Worlds to Seek: Pioneer Heinrich Lienhard in Switzerland and America, 1824-1846
by Heinrich Lienhard and edited by Emeritus John C. Abbott
An adventurer in both the physical and intellectual senses of the word, Heinrich Lienhard was born in Bilten in 1822 and immigrated to America in 1843. Published here for the first time in either the original German or in English translation, this initial section of Lienhard’s enormous manuscript autobiography (more than half a million words) covers the years after his birth through his first several years in America.Lienhard’s account of his early years consists of four segments: his early years and boyhood in the Swiss canton of Glarus, 1822–1843; his journey to America, August-November 1843; his two and a half years in Highland, Illinois; and his life in the upper Mississippi Valley. This section ends in April 1846, when Lienhard began the arduous and dangerous journey from St. Louis to Captain John Sutter’s fort at New Helvetia, California. Lienhard has provided an unusually full account of his early life. The book contains fifty-one chapters, with each chapter featuring one or more life-shaping incidents for this pioneer who would successfully cross the Rocky Mountains at the same time the Donner party, taking a different and more obvious route, perished. A few of the chapter titles demonstrate both the flavor and the thoroughness of this autobiography: "Father’s Thoughtless Words—Abuse from Brother Peter and Undeserved Punishment by Father"; "An Appropriate Warning to Father—How Brother Peter Treated Me Deceitfully and Treacherously—How Apprentices Are Treated"; "Becoming More or Less American"; and "Short Stay at Schneider’s—Going to Mollet’s Where Three Times Daily for a Period of Nine Weeks I Am Fed Bad Cornbread, Oversalted Bacon, and Wheat Slop." In his foreword, John H. Lienhard IV characterizes his great-grandfather: "Certain family writings and comments suggest that my grandfather had trouble understanding Heinrich’s ‘who-cares’ attitude toward the consumption of his fortune. The irony is clear. Heinrich’s fortune was the result of his pursuit of freedom, not of fortune. His son enjoyed the settled life that Heinrich’s gains had provided. My grandfather could far better understand ‘good business’ than the forces driving Heinrich."
A Common Treasure: The Challenging First Decade of the Swiss Colony of New Glarus 1845-1855
by Duane Freitag
Wisconsin’s Swiss community of New Glarus is widely known today because of an enterprising brewery located there. Almost lost in that success story is the background saga of the community’s beginning – a Wisconsin immigration story like no other.Now New Glarus native Duane H. Freitag reconstructs the dramatic first ten years of what was then a colony of eastern Switzerland’s Canton of Glarus. The demanding labor, the heartbreak, and the achievements of that era are told with pathos and pride. The settlement, created to provide a common home and secure economic base for those who felt compelled to leave their alpine homeland, put down strong roots in those first ten years. It still flourishes today and its ties to the Old World remain strong.For the historian, this volume provides a comprehensive chronological account and mentions all of the early Swiss immigrants who built up the settlement, how they arrived in Wisconsin, and their impact on the community and the state. For the pleasure reader, the pioneer life of these Swiss immigrants unfolds in surprising ways.
Copies of the English book are available from
In alle Herren Länder
by Susanne Peter-Kubli
Copies of the German book are available from
They have travelled all over the world, for various reasons they have left their homeland: The desire for adventure, sheer poverty, mission consciousness, love, escape or the joy of discovery.
The historian Susanne Peter-Kubli has compiled biographies of emigrants from Näfels. She shows that there is more to emigration than just North America. Peter-Kubli has collected about 50 family histories from two centuries, which she spreads out chronologically.
In her work, the period from 1800 to 2000 is illuminated. Before that, emigrants were primarily mercenaries who hired themselves out in foreign armies out of need and probably hoped to return once again. There were also seasonal workers in Germany at the beginning of the 19th century, the "Schwabengänger", who at times worked as servants or maidservants.
From the middle of the 19th century, however, more and more people had decided to emigrate permanently, some of them actively supported by the community. More and more often, her goal was North America, which, at least by Glarus standards, seemed to be almost infinitely large and at the same time almost deserted, offering a particularly large number of opportunities for development and advancement. About half of the Näfels emigrants had settled in the USA. Germany, France, Africa, Canada and Brazil follow far behind.
Die Flurnamen von Engi
by Karin Marti / Leni Takihara / Rolf Stöckli
Not only states, cantons, municipalities, mountains and rivers bear names; people named every corner of the territory surrounding them and used by them. Changes of use and the decline of agriculture and alpine farming have led to renaming, but even more so to the fact that many names of fields have been forgotten. In Engi this structural change is underway, but there are still enough people living here with detailed knowledge of even the most remote areas of the municipal territory. For this reason, the local history association of Engi considered it a worthwhile and meaningful task to collect and secure this knowledge.
What lasts a long time will finally be good. Recently, "The field names of Engi" can not only be studied on the Internet, but also be obtained as a bound directory of over 270 pages from the local history association of Engi.
Copies of the German book are available from