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Waukesha County

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Wales, Wisconsin

                              
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The story of Wales, Wisconsin

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Wales

"Attracted by the rolling hills so reminiscent of their native land, John Hughes and his family became the first Welsh settlers to the area in 1840. Within two years, the flow of immigrants had enlarged the Welsh population to 100 & the area was dotted with farm names such as Caemadoc, Bronyberllan and Bryn Mawr.

The Welsh language, culture, & religion were preserved by the Calvinist Methodist churches which served as social, educational, and spiritual centers. Welsh poetry and song could be heard at Cyfarod Llenyddols (literary meetings) and Gymanfa Ganus (songfests) held at the churches. Congregations included Jerusaleum, Bethesda, Tabernacle, and Zion, the first to organize in 1842.

On Feb. 1, 1882, two trains of the Chicago & Northwestern Railway made the first stops at the recently built depot, known as the Wales Station. By the end of the same years, seven homes, a general store, and a post office had been built on the surrounding land that formerly belonged to Mrs. Hugh Elias. The Village of Wales was born, the offspring of a hearty, 40 year old Welsh community.

In Wales today, the heart of the Welsh community still beats strongly, outliving the railroad that brought it life over a century ago.

Waukesha County Historical Society, 1986"

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The Jerusalem Calvinist Methodist Church

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