“We came here from Switzerland in 1950 without ever seeing our farm, only pictures. There was an advertisement in the newspaper and we made a down payment. We knew we had to learn English so we studied and it was hard. We came over by boat and then took a train from New York. That was really something. We got a lot of help from people around here; the Stolces and Buchlis were our good friends. We had a lot of nice neighbors and when our kids went to school, we learned English a lot more. I had to help them with their homework and to this day, I still ask them how to write something in English sometimes when I write a letter.

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The farm Elma lives on that she and her husband bought 67 years ago. 

When I was 23, we had soldiers from the Swiss Army boarding horses in our family barn, which was tradition back then. My husband was their officer and it just happened that I was home. That is how we met. We got married when I was 25 and then we moved here 2 days later.

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 Elma’s wedding day in 1950

My husband thought being a farmer in America sounded good. It was a lot of work. The farm was in rough shape, but my husband was a workaholic. We worked a lot and when you’re young, you do those things. My folks and his folks said, “Ohhhhh, let them go, they’re going to come back soon.” At that time, you didn’t dare think about going that far so our family didn’t really visit, it was really different that way. My dad came once and he thought we were a little bit crazy. It was not always easy, but we made it. Every year, we had a different hired hand from Switzerland come and work on our farm. Most of them came because they had to learn English. There were a lot of them, I should have made a book. One of them visited me last week and he usually sends us Swiss chocolates and Swiss magazines.

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The entrance to the farm that Elma and her husband moved to America to build.