Historic Vevay Walking Tour

Walking tour of the historic buildings and homes of Vevay, Indiana

Historic Vevay Walking Tour

Vevay, Indiana 47043, United States

Created By: Switzerland County Tourism

Tour Information

Situated on the Ohio River halfway between Cincinnati, Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky, Vevay is a small historic town in Switzerland County, Indiana. The walking tour takes you through the historic downtown, which is on the list of National Historic Places and though the neighborhoods of historic homes thoughout the town and the Ohio River. For more information on Vevay and Switzerland County, visit switzcotourism.com.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Bank Building, 1907, Second Renaissance Revival style.
Federal style two-story building, 1830.
Federal style 3-story building, 1840. Renaissance revival façade at street level. This is similar to the front of the Historic Hoosier Theater.
Italianate style three-story building, 1860.
International Order of Odd Fellows Building, a three-story imposing Queen Anne style building, 1900.
The Old Phoenix Hotel now houses the Switzerland County Visitor’s Center. Italianate three-story building, 1884. An earlier building on the site burned. There was much activity here during the days of riverboat trade. Salesmen set up thei... Read more
The Switzerland County Courthouse was erected in 1864 by John Haley for $26,150.40. A new addition echoes the original Classic Revival style of architecture. A cupola crowns the structure. The juror room walls contain graffiti from the 1800... Read more
Knox House, built c1830 by George Knox, Vevay’s first cabinet maker. Federal style saltbox. The Methodists held their first meetings here. Old Bull, the famous Norwegian violinist, played a concert here. He was marooned in Vevay after the... Read more
Edward Eggleston’s birthplace, Federal style, 1830. He was a famous writer, historian and preacher known for his books “Roxy” and “The Hoosier Schoolmaster”. Julia Dumont was one of his first and best teachers.
Callis House, Italianate style, 1860. Chester Callis was a prominent attorney in Vevay for many years. The present owners have restored it beautifully.
Ruter Chapel United Methodist Church, built in 1859, houses one of Vevay’s oldest organized congregations. In 1957 it was one of five churches in Indiana chosen as a Methodist shrine. Contains restored hand-painted murals.
This Classic Italianate style home was built by the Hall family c. 1875, by Silas Wright, architect. This was the final home of George McKay, noted pianist and conductor during the early 20th century.  
Dr. George Copeland House, built in 1900 in the Dutch Colonial style. The unusual carriage house survives today.
The Jean Daniel Morerod House was completed in 1817. Morerod was one of Vevay’s first Swiss settlers and winemakers. The bricks used in the building were made & fired on the site, extending the construction time to three years. James ... Read more
Pleasants House, imposing Italianate style house, 1881.
Built c. 1870 in the Queen Anne style by the Detraz brothers who owned and operated a planing mill and also built boats and other fine homes in Vevay.
“Sooner” House, Italianate, 1880. Home of the veterinarian (played by Richard Crenna) in the 1974 television film “A Girl Named Sooner.”
William Hall House. Originally a one story Federal, the second story was added in 1874 in the Italianate style, creating the mansion it is today.
Roxy House, 1814, primitive style. Twonnet, a character in one of Edward Eggleston’s books, was the daughter of the first owner, Aunt Lucy Detraz.
Tandy House, 1870. This is a fine example of the Neo-Jacobean style of architecture. A cottage in the yard was used as a law office. Enjoy the well maintained grounds, and several outbuildings.
Craig House, Free Classic style, 1895. An underground tunnel was used as a coal chute from street to basement. Contains elaborate birds eye maple pocket doors, and carved lambrequins between the front & back parlors.
Israel Whitehead House, The lower floor, dating to 1817, was Vevay’s First bank. Upper stories were added in the 1830s in the Greek Revival style. A French Countess married a Mr. Heberhart, and took refuge here during World War II. She ca... Read more
McCrellis House, Italianate style frame, 1880.
Will Stevens House, Federal style, 1863. Will Stevens was a noted artist of landscapes and abstracts. The art studio was added in the 1940s. His artwork can be seen at the Library & the Historical Museum in Vevay.
Porter House, Italianate, 1885. Built by Andrew Porter, uncle to Cole Porter, the famous song writer & musician. It currently houses an Art Studio.
U P Schenck mansion, Greek Revival, 1844. Ulysses P, owner of a fleet of steamboats, was known as the “Hay King” for his work shipping hay to markets as far south as New Orleans. The spiral staircase was designed by Costigan.
Gable front cottage with Eastlake style details, 1875. The present owners added the period porch. The land was first owned by the wife of George Kyle. He was the architect who designed the U P Schenck mansion across the street.
The Vevay Christian Church was built in 1863 for the Universalists. The architecture includes fish-scale shingles. The stained glass windows are especially beautiful at dusk, as the sun shines all the way through the building.
This early brick house was built in 1832 by John Francis Dufour, one of the founders of the town. His wife Polly Critchfield was a niece of Thomas Jefferson’s wife. Dufour descendants had a millinery shop here at one time.
The Armstrong Tavern was built in 1816. It is the oldest known meeting place of the Masonic Lodge in the state of Indiana. It was a tavern for more than 40 years. Now a residence, it housed a colonial restaurant in the 1970s.
Rammed Earth house built in 1947. Don Stepleton served in Italy during World War II. He learned this building technique there. The sturdy structure is now the home of the Vevay-Reveille newspaper, the oldest weekly in the state.
George Kessler house, Federal style, 1835. A saddle shop was once located in the side yard. It is now home to Wallin Forge, specializing in tin & iron works.
The Chatline House is famous for its beautiful wrought iron balcony. Stucco over brick, It is said to be an authentic example of early Swiss architecture.
Originally the home of Perret Dufour, the son of John James Dufour. Perret was a historian, whose published history of Switzerland County can be found at the Library, or for sale at the Switzerland County River History Museum.
An original Carnegie Library, built in 1915. It is now the Vevay Town Hall.
Historic Hoosier Theater, built in 1837 as a warehouse. A Federal style building, first floor façade has been remodeled in the Renaissance Revival style.
Grisard Building. Frederick Grisard opened the first mercantile business in this building in the early 19th century. It also had the first telephone in town. It is now the home of the Community Art Center of Switzerland County.
LeClerc House, 1833. The hotel & restaurant were operated for many years by Julia LeClerc. It was known up and down the river for its French cuisine and candles in the windows welcoming guests. Today it is the Vevay Swiss Inn, welcoming... Read more
Fisk Building, Italianate style, 1860. Former telephone exchange.
“She-Coon Saloon”, 1810. Once housed the Jeanette Tandy Weaving Studio.
This 1886 Neo-classical structure once housed the First National Bank.
Our Most Sorrowful Mother of God Catholic Church, 1875, Gothic Revival.
Dormer-front bungalow with Craftsman-style details & deep eaves, c1920.
Benjamin Franklin Schenck Mansion. Second Empire style with 5 baths, each containing a copper lined wooden bathtub. Built in 1870 at a cost of $67,000. Currently operated as a private residence. 
Old Baptist Church, 1834. This was the first permanent structure to house Vevay’s Baptist congregation. Later it served as a Christian Church, an early gas station, and the first Switzerland County Historical Museum.
Switzerland Baptist Church, built in 1870 for $20,000. Gothic Revival style, it is known for its high reaching steeple and stained glass windows.
The old County Jail, built in 1853 by Joseph Peelman for $8,675. No longer used to house offenders, it is open to the public for self-guided tours.
The Schenck Building, built in 1837 to accommodate U P Schenck’s thriving business interests. The oldest continuous business on the same site in Indiana.
McCormick’s Tavern, Federal style built in 1814 by George Pleasants. David McCormick kept a tavern in the brick part of the building.
Julia Knox House, 1870, Free Classic style. Julia Leclerc Knox was a well-respected school teacher, writer & world traveler. She was the last resident descendent of Madame Antoinette Dufour Morerod.
T-plan Gothic Revival Cottage, c1850.
Presbyterian Church, 1860, Gothic Revival style. First organized church in the county. Housed a school at one time. Now the home of the Switzerland County Historical Museum, containing many artifacts of early life in this region..
Parsonage to the Presbyterian Church. When the church deeded the property to the Historical Society, this frame house became a private residence. Currently the building serves as the Life on the Ohio River History Museum. Rare steamboat mod... Read more
Grisard House, 1840, Classic Revival style. Frederick L. Grisard was an early Vevay blacksmith & merchant. A substantial brick structure with columned portico, the timbered parts are fastened together by wooden pegs.
Armstrong House, built 1835 in the Federal style. The Armstrong family raised many acres of hay for the river trade. Some survivors of the 1868 steamboat collision were brought here for medical attention. Boats involved were the United Stat... Read more


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