The Colony of Baden

            The Colony of Baden was established in 1808, but the process of building the houses was not completed until 1809.  The Colony was located on the Kutschurgan Liman with a portion of the village being located on a side valley, which itself ended up at that very Liman.  The Colony of Baden is located 60 verst from Odessa [1 verst = 0.67 mile; 60 verst = ca. 40 miles], the main city [district center] of the region.  The soil is primarily sandy, containing nitric acid.  However, with favorable climate conditions, most grains grow well.  There are no stone quarries in the area. 

            In 1848 the community lands totaled 3561 dessyatines [1 dessy. = ca. 2.7 acres; 3561 d. = just over 9,600 acres], which was divided in the following usage: land under cultivation, 1356 dess.; meadow land, 1020 dess.; grazing land, 1075 dess.; 110 dess. for gardens and plantations.  In 1842 a forest was planted, but by 1848 there were only 120 trees.

            The name of “Baden” was given to this settlement because many of the settlers came from the Grand Duchy of Baden. 

            There were 60 Catholic families who originally settled in Baden.  Of these, 40 families were from the Grand Duchy of Baden, 18 families from Elsaß and one family from Austria.  The document does not say where the remaining families came from.  In all, there were 237 souls of both genders.           

            With the exception of 2 families, the 60 families came to Russia as part of three traveling parties, which were separately led by Michael Hoffart, Josef Tschau and Friedrich Lehle. 

            The land provided to the Colonists was assigned by Rosenkampf and the Liebenthaler Supervisor (word used was “Oberschulzen,” a kind of grand mayor), Franz Brittner, and was purchased by the Crown from landowner Sadow or Sador.  On the land there were 6 small semlyankas (earthen huts), all of which were in a poor state of repair.  The financial support to the settlers from the Crown amounted to 13,899 rubles, 67 kopeks silver.  The total capital brought by the settlers to Russia from Germany was estimated to be 5549 Rubles.

            Baden also had misfortune during the early years.  In 1812, there was a plague, but only one person died.  Between1824 and 1830 crops were devastated by grasshoppers every year.  In 1833 and 1834 the crop failure was so complete that the colonists had to receive assistance from the Crown.  Yet, the assistance of our dear God did not remain missing.  From the years 1850 to 1870 there were many plentiful harvests, which helped put the settlers on their feet again and gradually brought them solid prosperity. 

            At the present time there are 242 households with 1814 souls of both genders.  There is a parish church, a pastorate, its own Volost Office, and two schools with four teachers and 213 students. 

            Currently, Baden owns 3724 3/4 dessy. of community land.  20 individuals own a variety of portions of 1338 dessy. of purchased land.  The community lands are divided as follows: the yards on which houses are built consists of 115 dess.  Livestock business uses 6 dessy. vegetable gardens consist of 35 dess. and fruit tree gardens utilize 15 dessi.  Grape vineyards comprise 9 dess., 3 dess. are meadows, and  there are 3 dess. under water.   2 dess. are acreage covered with nitric acid,  6 dess. are used for clay pits, 12 dess. are used for a garbage pit.   Roads take up 54 1/4 dess. and 2600 ½ dess. are under cultivation, plus 861 dess. Being sued as grazing land..  Orphan land consists of 340 dess. and is rented out for 7 rubles per dess.  Grazing land is rented from an owner in Tiraspol for 3 rubles per head of livestock.  For 70 rubles annually, fishing in the Kutschurgan Liman is guaranteed.  In Baden one can find 21 workshops doing a variety of work.  There is a co-op, 10 second-hand stores, and a pub, for which the community has to pay 770 rbl. rent. 

            The community pays the following taxes: 364 rbl., 20 kop. to the Crown, (Auskaufsumme) 2583 rbl. 20 kop., Basic interest charges amount to1818 rbl. 9 kop.,and the community owes 3831 rbl. 24 kop.

reprinted from the Odessa Zeitung, Sept 24, 1808 in Der Staats-Anzeiger


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