04 July 2017

On This Day, 4 July 1773

Location of Pobochnaya (Pobotschnoje) on
Karte der deutschen Siedlungen im Wolgagebiet
(Map of the German settlements in the Volga region, AHSGR map #6)
The Volga Mother colony of Pobochnaya was founded on 4 July 1773, although some sources say it was founded a year earlier in 1772.  It was a Lutheran colony and a part of the Yagodnaya Polyana parish, Yagodnaya Polyana being just to the north.

Initially, most colonists were farmers, whether or not they had been farmers in Germany.  But later many skilled trades developed including blacksmiths, butchers, teachers, shopkeepers, miller, musical instrument makers.  

Because Pobochnaya was on the very edge of the German area of Volga, there was a lot of business interactions with the Russian people; in fact, most of the German colonists spoke Russian as well as German. 

The colony no longer exists, but you can still see the outlines of where the streets used to be in the satellite photo. 

The location of the former colony Pobochnaya. 

Learn More: 

2017 marks the 250th anniversary of the founding of the Mother colonies along the Volga River. There are many events throughout the year to commemorate the anniversary, and the Germans from 
Russia Settlement Locations project joins in the celebration of this rich Volga German heritage.  

The German immigrants that came to the Volga region were among first colonists to take up Catherine the Great on her manifesto. They came from Hesse, the Rhineland, the Palatinate and Württemberg.  They are also among the most well researched and documented groups of German colonists in Russia. Thus far, the Volga Mother colonies settled between 1764 and 1767 are the only colonies that have precise dates they were settled.  

For more historical and current events related to Germans from Russia, see our calendar page or link to our public Google calendar.

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