The Patriotic Association of Cottagers (“Baráčníci”) was established in 1874. Its name was suggested by Czech craftsmen and peasants who met in a small tavern called Baráček (“Little Cottage”). The Patriotic Association soon became very popular among country folks, in contrast to various citizens’ organisations and ladies’ clubs at that time. The establishment of the first similar cottagers’ association is documented in Prague-Dejvice in 1880, followed by associations established in Hradčany, Bubeneč and in 1885 in the Old Town. The association successfully spread throughout Bohemia, but also to Vienna and the U.S.
The main program of the association was to revive older traditions, habits and customs. Well known became the traditionally organised balls in folk costumes, welcoming of spring, erecting and cutting down of maypoles and other activities.
In the memory of their roots in the period after the Battle of the White Mountain, Cottagers kept the names of their officials: bailiff, deputy bailiff, goodman, goodwife, syndic, exciseman, bill controller, educator, steward, entertainment master, catchpoll, ancillary. Members of the association address each other as neighbour and aunt and adhere to the directives of the association, old Czech rituals at the board meetings of villages, municipalities as well as regions. At festive occasions, members wear Czech folk costumes or costumes of the association.
Cottagers were appraised by public on the All-Slavonic Exhibition in Prague in 1885 where Cottagers exhibited the model of their magistrate house in Prague in which they presented old Czech customs. This house became the symbol of cottagers’ life.
The Ethnographic Exhibition initiated the unification of all local cottagers’ associations in Prague as well as its surroundings and led to the establishment of the headquarters called The Municipality of Cottagers for the Lands of the Czech Crown dated on 15th August 1896.
The Municipality of Cottagers also provided financial support for national purposes in years 1948-49 in the amount of 2,891,411 crowns, and gift to the republic in the amount of 300,000 crowns for the restoration of Old Town Hall in 1948.
The ranks of Cottagers included personalities such as Prof. Čeněk Zíbrt, Dr. Baxa, Dr. Vacek and others. In 1999 Cottagers celebrated 125th anniversary of their establishment and 65 years since the reconstruction and celebrative opening of today’s Všebaráčnická rychta.