top of page

Our History


During the late 1800's, some Swiss immigrants of various religious faiths began settling in present-day Adams County, Indiana. The new colony soon became an attraction for other immigrants with similar faiths and cultural backgrounds, and they migrated into the new colony.

In 1852, a group of Mennonite families settled into the area and began the chore of preparing for farming by clearing the land. However, farm markets were severely limited because of treacherous mud roads and distant trade centers. The advent of the railroad was soon to be the answer to the immigrant's prayers.

When the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad laid plans to construct a rail line through Adams County, two farmers offered a proposition: they would donate land to the railroad in exchange for the building of a rail depot in the small community. The railroad companies agreed, and the farmers quickly plotted 10 building lots in anticipation of what was to come - more settlers! On Christmas Day, 1871, the first train arrived. This historical event marked the beginning of Berne, which was officially recorded as a community soon after.


A steady stream of Swiss and German people came into the area from that train, as did English-speaking migrants, some of which became successful businessmen in the new community. They contributed immensely in the growth of Berne.


Today, Berne consists of 4,173 people and continues to increase its steady business and industrial expansion. But, at the same time, it has retained its small-town pace and friendliness, as well as its moral values which were bred in Europe and later expanded on the wilderness frontier. These values include a strong work ethic, pride in home ownership and family ties, and religious dedications.

Berne is conveniently located near several major roadways, Berne is only 35 miles south of Fort Wayne, and 90 miles north of Indianapolis. In today's hectic world, Berne has retained the charm and ambiance of small town Americana while embracing our Swiss roots.

We invite you to visit Berne and discover for yourself why Bloomberg Business Week 2011 rated Berne the second best community in Indiana in which to live and raise a family.

Berne Sign.jpeg
bottom of page