The Colony of Straßburg
The majority of the immigrants to settle in Straßburg
arrived in June, 1808. They first came to the city of Odessa and by
decree by the authorities were quartered in the Liebenthal colonies. In
the fall of the same year, many of the families were allowed to the site
where Straßburg is located today in order to begin building their living
quarters. However, winter began in October that year, causing the poor
people to experience significant suffering from frost and snow.
Additionally, there was a great water shortage because a well had not
yet been dug. The water for humans and livestock had to be hauled from
two versts [ca.1.4 miled] away, causing a great inconvenience. The
colony of Straßburg is situated in the Kutschurgan Valley, not far from
the Dnjester Liman. The community land for the colony is about 15 verst
[ca. Ten miles] long and 2 verst [1.4 miles] wide. The soil is mostly
sandy and is not suitable for all types of grain, but with to favorable
weather conditions the area is nonetheless productive, especially for
root crops. A stone quarry is located 6 verst [ca. 4 miles] from the
colony. In 1842 a forest and plantation were established, but not
adequately cared for, and was thus not successful. The report from 1848
reads: “There is no forest in Straßburg”. According to the document,
the name “Straßburg” was given to the new colony because two streets run
through the village, but in my opinion this is not a probable
explanation. A more likely reason for the naming is in memory of the
city of Straßburg in Elsaß, the major city in the province where so many
of the emigrants came from. The original settlement consisted of 60
families totaling 146 males and 115 females. One family arrived as late
as 1819, so 61 households were finally established. The first 46
families came from the District of Weißenburg, Elsaß . There were 14
families from the Duchy of Würtemberg, near Bruchsal. The last family
to arrive came from the city of Weißenburg.
The colonists were given a monetary advance for building
their homes and purchasing the first seeds. In addition to a wagons,
plows and harrows, each family received 355 Rbls. Money brought by the
emigrants from Germany totaled 6461 Rbl. silver.
The colony was afflicted by a variety of problems, including
livestock disease, grasshoppers and famine. The colonists had to endure
illnesses of every type. However, our dear God also sent plentiful
harvests and soon there was strong prosperity. The first house of
prayer in Straßburg was built in 1818. The present parish church was
built in 1863. At the present time, Straßburg has 293 households with
2178 inhabitants and forms its own Volost. Straßburg has a parish
church, one pastor, plus 2 schools with 7 teachers and 250 students.
The colony of Straßburg owns 3669 dessy. [about 9,900 acres]
of community land and 3004 dessy. of purchased land. The community land
is divided up as follows: Property yards take up 75 dessy of land.
Livestock operations use 20 dessy. 35 Dessj. are used for vegetable
gardens and 50 Dessj. are used for orchards. 35 dessy. are used for a
vineyard, 3 dessy. for a meadow, and 2 Dessj. are used for a stone
quarry, 5 dessy. serve for a clay pit, 2 dessy. for a garbage dump.
Roads take up 67 dessy. and 2442 dessy are under cultivation. 120 dessy.
are used for haying, while 799 dessy. are taken up by for pasture.
The land for orphan children from 10 families totals 104
dessy and is rented out at 5 Rbl. per dessy. The proceeds go into an
orphan fund. Over 1000 dessy. are rented, at 6 Rbl per dessy., from
Russians who do not live here. Straßburg has two steam mills, 15
blacksmith shops, 6 wagon makers, 1 barrel maker, and 4 shoe makers.
Additionally, there are 10 second-hand stores, 1 iron business, 3 wine
cellars and one tavern. Straßburg pays the following
To the Crown: 358 rbl. 75 kop., Auskaufssumme [??] rbl. 75
kop, Land tax: 1596 rbl. 76 kop.,Community debts 7117 rbl. 50 kop.
Reprinted in Der Staats-Anzeiger from the Odessa Zeitung, Sept. 17,