The Chalet of the Golden Fleece
Location: 618 2nd Street, New Glarus WI 53574
Facebook page: Chalet of the Golden Fleece
Visit the charming, Swiss Alps chalet-style home of Edwin Barlow, who brought the Wilhelm Tell play to America in 1938, and discover thousands of artifacts Barlow collected during his travels abroad in the early- to mid-20th century.
A visit to the museum at 618 Second Street, just two blocks from downtown, will give you a close-enough-to-touch experience that will leave you delighted. Check out our Facebook page to learn more about our collections and view some of our eclectic pieces.
New Glarus architect Jacob Rieder designed the home with features traditionally found in the canton of Bern, Switzerland. Barlow built it in 1937. Today it is in the Wisconsin State Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places as an outstanding example of an authentic Swiss chalet, one of only three in Wisconsin.
Barlow's love of collecting and of old world craftsmanship is evidenced by the rare and unique antiques he acquired during his 63 Atlantic Ocean crossings and two world tours, all by boat. Tucked into the collection are surprising, historical American pieces.
Barlow had a penchant for the finding the extraordinary. His collection includes a peacock pendant and earrings set once belonging to Empress Carlota of Mexico and a set of Etruscan earrings believed to be from 600 BC. He also added to his collection of jewelry and unusual jewelry cases a mysterious spy ring with a secret poison compartment. He had a gift for identifying exquisite pieces of china and crystal ware, including Waterford and Tiffany. The museum’s inventory identifies a vast array of household items made of silver, pewter, glass and china.
Barlow’s collection of carvings and other sculptures includes pieces made not only of wood but also of unique materials, including peach pit. Miniature sculptures of bullfighters are an enticing display of craftsmanship, but the massive, wooden missionary table from 1742 is an equal marvel. One of the last items Barlow acquired was the 35-piece set depicting Queen Elizabeth’s coronation procession, which he attended during his 1953 trip to London.
Visitors can closely examine historical needlework -- handstitched samplers, tapestries, and lace -- dating back to the 1500s. Coins, jewelry, original works of art, and peasant furniture, such as the Swiss bridal bed shown in our brochure, will give you an appreciation of the fine artisanship preserved in this collection.
Chalet of the Golden Fleece Museum continues Edwin Barlow’s pride in Swiss heritage, his inspiration and initiatives promoting Swiss culture, and the development of New Glarus as "America's Little Switzerland."
Featured among the many handcrafted items, are Swiss cultural pieces, such as top-quality woodcarvings, dolls, a Swiss scissors cutting, a 350-year-old slate-and-wood inlaid table, and a vibrant green porcelain tile stove from 1760. Wilhelm Tell and his son are also presented through a variety of artifacts in the museum.
Personal tours can be arranged anytime day or night by contacting us via email or phone. We are happy to accommodate groups from 2 people to large bus groups via appointment!
Regular Hours Memorial Day Weekend through Last Saturday in October
- Open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Festival Weekends (Polkafest, Heidi Weekend, Volkfest, Labor Day Weekend and HarvestFest)
- Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- $8 for Adults/ $5 for Students
AAA and Senior Citizen Discounts
The Chalet of the Golden Fleece is open by appointment for bus and group tours, May through October.
Chalet of the Golden Fleece
PO Box 399
New Glarus WI 53574
- Call: 1-608-527-2614
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ChaletOfTheGoldenFleece?fref=ts